Bidding wars are taking place more frequently in today's market, a sign of improving conditions. As we start to see more buyers fighting over the same home, we offer words of caution and some helpful advice. 

For those not familiar with the term, a "multiple offer" situation or "multiples" in real estate lingo, occurs when more than one buyer is attempting to purchase the same home at the same time. This happens not only on homes that are new to the market, but also to homes that have been sitting for a long time.

The important point we want to convey is that a multiple offer situation can happen at any time and will present additional challenges to both buyer and seller. These transactions can be much more stressful and complex so strategy is extremely important here. One wrong move could put you in a bad situation.

As a buyer, not only do you have to negotiate with the seller, but you also have another buyer to worry about.  

As a seller, while most dream of having multiple bidders for their home, it isn't as great as it seems. Buyers are often very uncomfortable being in a competitive bidding situation. If you don't play things right here you could alienate all of your buyers and end up with none.

The fact is, emotions tend to run higher than normal in this type of situation. A competitive situation tends to bring the worst out of some people and unfortunately there are losers who end up very unhappy.

 To avoid the additional stress, we tell our buyers that if they like a particular home, write an offer as soon as possible. If you like a home, odds are that some other buyers will feel the same way about it.  Hesitating could cause you to lose the home of your dreams or have to enter a bidding war for the chance to buy it.

When it comes to multiples, understand that they do exist in all price points and could happen at any time. Having an experienced agent guiding you through the process is critical here.