Here are a few things to consider. Knowledgeable buyers and sellers realize there are rarely simple answers to complex situations. But some fundamental principles can make negotiating multiple offers a little simpler.
In some situations sellers will have several competing purchase offers to consider. Sellers have several ways to deal with multiple offers. They can accept the "best" offer; they can inform all purchasers that other offers are "on the table"; they can "counter" one offer while putting the other offers to the side awaiting a decision on the counter-offer; they can "counter" one offer and reject the others.
While the listing broker can offer suggestions and advice, decisions about how offers will be presented - and dealt with - are made by the seller - not by the listing broker.
There are advantages and disadvantages to the various negotiating strategies you can employ in multiple offer negotiations. Your buyer agent should explain the pros and cons of these negotiating strategies. The decisions, however, are yours to make.
Purchase offers generally aren't confidential. In some cases sellers may make other buyers aware that your offer is in hand, or even disclose details about your offer to another buyer in the hope of convincing that buyer to make a "better" offer.
Listings brokers are required to follow lawful, ethical instructions from their clients in the same way that buyer-representatives must follow lawful, ethical instructions from their buyer-clients.
If you want to make your offer confidential, discuss with your buyer agent a confidentiality agreement between you and the seller prior to commencing negotiations.
You should know that your broker likely has other buyer-clients, some of whom may be interested in the same properties you are. Ask your broker how offers and counter-offers will be presented and negotiated if more than one of their buyer-clients are trying to buy the same property.
Appreciate that your buyer agent's advice is based on past experience and is no guarantee as to how any particular seller will act (or react) in a specific situation.
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