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    Wanting a buy a property? Found a house you really like that ticks all the boxes? Problem is that if you like the property and think it is a good buy, chances are that other prospective homebuyers will probably feel the same way. They may also want to make an offer on the property.

    A multi-offer situation occurs when more than one buyer makes a written offer on a property. It is most likely to occur when a property gets passed in auction, although a pre-auction or pre-tender offer can also turn into a multi-offer. According to OneRoof, “half the properties for sale in some of the main cities ending in a multi-offer situation”.

    An opportunity for best offers and a good picture of the market

    The multi-offer process is designed to create competition and give all interested buyers a fair opportunity to submit their best offer for a property they want to buy.

    Sellers have the opportunity to assess all offers and choose the one that best suits their situation. And the determining factor may not always be price. We never really know the deciding factor in a home sale until all offers are presented; the highest offer is not always the successful offer.

    Determining your best offer

    Multi-offer scenario can present a challenge. Buyers sometimes feel afraid of getting caught up in a bidding war or feel the deck is stacked against them. However, armed with insights and strategies from industry experts like Aseem Agarwal, Head of Mortgages at Global Finance, and a comprehensive understanding of the process, multi-offers can work in your favour. The key is for buyers to do the research on comparable homes and approach the situation strategically on terms that make sense for them.

    Offers in writing

    The first important point to note is there must be more than one offer in writing. An agent can’t just say you are in a multi-offer process, and you are well within your rights to ask if the real estate agent you are dealing with has received any other written, signed offers on the property. They are obliged to give you a direct answer.

    Putting your best foot forward

    As Aseem advises, you must always be realistic when deciding how much to offer. So, you need to research the property as much as possible to help determine what your best offer will be.

    While it can be tempting to offer more than the property’s appraised value to secure the deal, you must ensure you don’t overextend yourself financially. You need to know your limits and not get caught out by overbidding. And that’s where we can help. The team at Global Finance can work with you to help you strike that delicate balance between offering competitively and financial feasibility.

    The best offer on the table

    When it’s time to make an offer on the house you want, you need to maximise your chances. You need to cover any areas of risk by completing your due diligence. Then, find your ‘walk away’ price.

    All prospective buyers should be told that they need to put their very best offer on the table. If you have the capacity to stretch yourself a little bit extra to ensure that you don’t miss out based on price, while still being realistic, then do so.

    When you are in competition for a property, there isn’t much point in making an offer while leaving a certain amount in reserve in case the owners come back to you. You need to give it your best shot, because if your offer is not the highest, you are unlikely to have an opportunity to negotiate anyhow.

    Conditions of purchase

    To stand out among competing offers, buyers must also consider factors beyond simply offering the most money. As Aseem points out, “Vendors may want to choose an offer which has the least number of conditions… The fewer conditions you have, the more attractive your offer will be from the vendor’s perspective.”

    Our team can help you consider ways to reduce or eliminate as many conditions as possible, so your offer is the most attractive on the table.

    Unconditional offers

    In a multiple offer situation, sellers are often looking for buyers who can move quickly and close quickly. Minimising the conditions within an offer can enhance its appeal. But you must make sure you cover any areas of risk. Having fewer conditions in an offer shouldn’t come at the expense of due diligence. You don’t skip the research phase; you consider what homework could be done on the property before you submit your offer.

    Aseem explains that if clients still need time for further due diligence, they suggest opting a single, comprehensive “subject to due diligence” clause in the offer rather than individually listing each condition, such as building inspections, toxicology reports or LIM and title. “Sometimes clients can talk to their lawyer and just include a very generic clause that single-handedly can cover every aspect of the property they want to get checked”.

    Streamlining the offer can make the offer appear more straightforward to the vendor.

    Settlement dates

    Accommodating the vendor’s timeline can tilt the scales in your favour. “Often vendors want to settle as early as possible, cash out, and probably move on. If you are in a position to settle, say, within a week or 2 from the unconditional date, then you can put a shorter settlement date”. People usually put between four weeks and ten weeks for settlement and that may put some vendors off.


    A deposit of 5-10% is standard on an unconditional offer; the remainder is paid to the vendor upon the settlement. Offering a larger deposit upfront can help you seal the deal, especially in situations where vendor is wanting to buy something else. So, if you have the capacity to pay deposit a larger than 10%, then offer to do so. “As a seller, if I have the same offer – same price, same conditions – but one party is putting down a larger deposit upfront, then I may well prefer that one”.

    Multi-offer situations can seem challenging

    The Global Finance team can help. Having your offer accepted over others does not depend solely on making the highest bid. More often than not, success lies in presenting an offer that works in with the seller’s plans and seems the least convoluted. By following best practice and a strategic approach, our mortgage brokers can help put you in the best position in a competitive market.

    If you’re looking at buying a property in a multi-offer situation or would like to talk further about any issues we have raised in this blog, reach out to Global Finance on 09 255 5500 or info@globalfinance.co.nz for expert advice. You’ll be able to approach home buying with confidence.

    The information and articles published are true to the best of the Global Finance Services Ltd knowledge. Since the information provided in this blog is of general nature and is not intended to be personalized financial advice. We encourage you to seek Financial advice which is personalized depending on your needs, goals, and circumstances before making any financial decision. No person or persons who rely directly or indirectly upon information contained in this article may hold Global Financial Services Ltd or its employees liable.