Buyers Making Offers on Multiple Homes at Once

devil_sign_contractBuyer's are being advised by unscrupulous brokers and mortgage lenders to go ahead and write several offers at the same time on several different homes in the hope of getting one accepted. Let's face it, the market is extremely active and many buyers are not getting their offers accepted, even though they are making very strong and attractive offers. Some are offering substantially over list price, only to be passed over by another buyer who has cash and no inspection or financing contingencies that might sink the deal.

This is causing buyers to consider desperate measures and act out of frustration. I strongly advice against taking this risky approach. First of all, a Purchase and Sale Agreement is a legally binding contract.

Hypothetically, if a Buyer writes two offers and they both get accepted with no negotiations, the buyers are obliged to buy two properties or forfeit the earnest deposit put in place to prevent this. Buyers are using various unrelated contingencies to allow them to back out of the transaction anyway. I'm not a lawyer, but in my mind this goes against the obligation of “good faith” that every legal contract is governed by in Washington State.

So to avoid this, lately I am hearing Managing Brokers are advising Buyer's Agents to disclose to the Sellers that the Buyers are making offers on multiple homes at the same time, and to do it at the time of the initial offer. The theory is by disclosing the bad behavior you will be exempt from legal action. This could be true. I'm not an attorney so I can't speak to the legalities. But to me this makes no practical sense. If the seller's home is already receiving multiple offers by potential buyers who are willing to remove contingencies to make their offer stronger, why would the Seller accept an offer where the Buyer is clearly not very committed to the property and may bolt as soon as they can tie-up another property they happen to like better?

If a real estate broker or mortgage professional advises such a strategy, you may want to seek legal advice. Or better yet, move on and find a professional who will won't put you at risk or perhaps make it even more difficult to get a home.