Home Buying in Sandwich>Question Details

Sand1577, Home Buyer in Rochester, MA

can you put more than one offer on a house when buying in MA?

Asked by Sand1577, Rochester, MA Sat Mar 10, 2012

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The wording of your question is a little ambiguous, but I'll assume you're asking about submitting offers on different properties at the same time, hoping one will be accepted.

First let me say I believe it unethical unless dealing with foreclosed properties owned by banks or similar institutions. Please don't forget that selling a home is often a stressful and nervous time for a seller, and it is unfair for anyone to submit an offer that a seller would accept if they don't genuinely intend to purchase the property. What would make things even worse is if a seller were to accept your offer over someone else's and then have the other buyer move on to a different property- believe me, I've seen that happen. A seller can find themselves with multiple offers one day and none the next.

That said, an Offer to Purchase, when fully executed, is a legally binding contract. Many people, agents included, look on the Offer merely as the step before the Purchase and Sale and don't give it due consideration. It is true that in most cases a buyer can withdraw an offer soon after it is accepted and not lose their deposit, or have a seller attempt to make them perform. Typically, a seller just wants to sell their property and they don't want to waste time and energy fighting with someone who doesn't want to buy it. Bear in mind, however, that a seller does have legal recourse if they choose to go that route, and you never know what the end result may be.

In answer to your question, I would add a clause to the offer stipulating that no binding contract is in effect until a copy of the fully executed agreement is HAND DELIVERED to you, the buyer, before the date and time of the expiration of the offer. It is important to follow up with the seller or seller's agent to make sure you are aware that your offer has been accepted, giving you time to revoke the offer before you receive a copy. (For reference see: Mailbox Rule)

One thing to bear in mind is that putting a clause like this, or any other unusual requirement, in an offer can make it unattractive to a seller and thus lead to none of your offers being accepted. My advice is to make one offer at a time, in a competitive situation make your best offer first, and sooner or later you'll be successful.

I am not an attorney. I advise consulting an experienced real estate attorney for all real estate transactions.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 15, 2012
Drawbacks to Making Multiple Purchase Offers

Breach of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Covenants.
In some states, contract law contains a good faith and fair dealing covenant. If a buyer can afford to buy only one home yet makes multiple purchase offers on many homes, it is possible that the buyer has broken the good faith covenant, which may have legal ramifications. Buyers are advised to seek legal advice beforehand.
Sending the Same Check With Each Multiple Purchase Offer Could Void the Contract.
Sometimes buyers photocopy an earnest money deposit and submit a copy of the same check with each purchase offer. Since there is only one earnest money deposit check, only one offer actually has a deposit securing the purchase offer. The other offers have no deposits, which may invalidate and / or void the multiple purchase offers.
Multiple Purchase Offers Could Result in Multiple Acceptances.
If the offers contain no contract contingencies that would allow the buyer to cancel the transaction without consequences, a buyer could end up in contract on multiple purchase offers. In that event, all the sellers may expect the buyer to deposit funds and close each of the transactions. Buyers who refuse to perform could find themselves liable to the sellers and / or in court.
Protection Available for Multiple Purchase Offers

Many buyers are eager to buy bank-owned homes. One of the problems with foreclosure homes is REOs tend to draw a lot of interest from buyers, and the REO banks can take a long time to respond.

The answer for some buyers is to write a multiple purchase offer and submit on a bunch of bank-owned homes at the same time. These buyers might be able to write multiple purchase offers that could avoid liability for bad faith if they are written as conditional offers. This means the offer would contain language that makes the offer subject to the buyer's acceptance after the REO banks accepts the offer. It lets the REO banks know that the buyer has submitted multiple purchase offers.

For more information, please consult a real estate lawyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 15, 2012
Short answer is yes.

Many times you put money down to bind the offer. Just realize your deposit money could be at risk if you do not move forward on an offer that was accepted. Generally it is minimal 500- 1000 dollars.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 12, 2012
yes, you can make multiple offers on multiple properties at the same time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
Investors buy more than one property at a time and have multi offers floating as well.
and if your question is as buyer who is looking into buying only one of the homes the answer is still yes.

"IT IS ALWAYS EASIER TO GET OUT OF A DEAL THEN INTO ONE" most agents would like to tell you that but you have to look out for your own best interests.

There is always the risk of loosing your good faith deposit, but most offers will have contingency clauses in them, ie: inspections, mutually acceptable p&s, financing, specific dates, just to name a few.

There may be two homes that you like equally both just came on and your offer may not be accepted on one of them, or inspections may have issues making one a better home for you or a short sale with uncertainty of bank approval.

Typically it is rear that your situation comes up, but when it does and it is right for you to put multi offers in - then go for it, but it is also benefical to have a good buyer broker and an attorney you feel comfortable with to handle the p&s
Web Reference: http://www.Louis
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
Yes, you absolutely can submit offers on more than one house. Just make sure you have your strategy down before placing them both.

Web Reference: http://territory.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
I personally, believe it would be unethical to write offers on multiple houses at the same time and I have refused to do so.

Putting more than 1 offer on a single house doesn't seem logical to me. Can you expand on your reasoning?

Thank you!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
If you do they could all be accepted at the same time and you would deserve to lose all of the good faith money. I doubt a reputable Realtor would help you do this. If you are not working with a Realtor, especially under current market conditions, the odds of you being harmed financially are dramatically higher.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
The key is placing a good initial offer and accompanying your offer with a pre-quailification letter. if the seller counters your offer, you can certainly counter the sellers counter as many times as you want until the seller states this is their final and best price. A good buyer agent can guide you through each step of the buying process.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
You can do anything you want to. This one doesn't make any sense though. :)
Web Reference: http://www.matames.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
You make one offer and that is then accepted or countered by the seller and buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
Your question is a little confusing. Do you mean can you make offers on more than one home? If this is what you mean the answer is yes, however it's not something I would suggest to any of my clients. Besides being aggravating to Sellers as unless you are prepared to buy them all then you're not being sincere when you tender them, you also run the risk of having multiple offers accepted.

If you mean can a seller consider more than one offer at a time on their property, the answer is yes. Multiple buyers may make offers on the same property and the Seller may choose who they want to negotiate with or which offer they wish to accept.

If you are asking can you make a second offer on a home if your first one were rejected or countered, the answer is still yes. This is called negotiating.

If you're not working with a dedicated buyer broker I would strongly advise you that it's really in your best interest to do so. At no cost to yourself, you would have an experienced expert on your side to consul you, answer questions, negotiate on your behalf, and supply you with tried and true resources you'll need such as inspectors, lawyers, lenders, contractors etc. If you're not sure how to find a great Broker, you might want to read my thoughts on the matter. I've posted a link below.

Hope I answered your question and best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
I am confused, why would you want to put more than one offer on the same house? Do you mean you want to make multiple offers on multiple houses? If so, I guess you could but you need to be sure you have no obligation to go forward with the purchase of the other homes, either because you are still in the attorney review period or something. Also, be sure there are no financial penalties for canceling the other offers, assuming of course you are only going to purchase one house. It's risky, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but I guess it can be done. And honestly, it's a bit unfair to the sellers, allowing them to think they have a legitimate buyer when, in fact, you fully intend to cancel all but one of those ofers. It might even rise to the level of violating the duty we all have to deal fairly with the other parties in a transaction.

On the other hand, if you are the seller having more than one offer on your home is a good thing! When that happens, typically the owner will either choose the best of the offers and accept that one, or ask all the potential buyers to come back with their 'highest and best' offer and choose one when these offers come in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
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