Yes, it’s true – we are seeing multiple offer situations in Northeast Ohio.  Inventory has been low and when a sweet home comes on the market, buyers will jump to snatch it up before someone else does.

Bidding wars can get ugly fast but if you know what you're doing, you can end up getting the home of your dreams.


Many buyers initially think there are certain rules that sellers must abide by in a multiple offer situation to make things fair for everyone.  Unfortunately, this is not true. They can do whatever they want. Here are some “ugly truths” you may not know:

  • Sellers do not need to follow any order in responding to an offer.  First offer in doesn’t win you first place in line for negotiations. 
  • Seller can respond to any and all (or none) of the offers in any way they see fit.
  • The listing agent does NOT need to disclose that there is more than one offer.  That means they can tell none, all, or even only some of the parties what is going on.
  • The highest purchase price doesn’t always win you the home. 

In a nutshell, the Listing Agent is bound to do WHATEVER the SELLER wants them to do.

Sound like fun yet? Wait, there's more.

  • Rejecting a sellers counter offer negates that offer. If you change your mind after and want to accept the sellers' counter, the seller must agree again to those terms.
  • Get it in writing!  A verbal acceptance of an offer from a seller is not binding in the State of Ohio.  If buyer and seller are in agreement, have your agent get it in writing ASAP.  You never know when someone may tempt the seller with a sweeter deal ( we've seen this happen ) .

Many buyers shy away from these transactions out of fear or ego. However, if you really love a home, don't be discouraged.

Most of our buyers end up winning in these situations because we are able to help them stand out from the competition.


Here are some things you can do to win out:

  1. Have a top notch agent by your side, one with experience working in these situations.
  2. Make sure your pre-approval is solid and from a recognizable lender. Giving the sellers an approval from an unknown internet lender may keep the sellers from wanting to work with you.
  3. Have your agent present your offer in person if possible.  He or she will be able to personalize the transaction and differentiate you from other buyers.
  4. Give the seller what they want, such as their preferred closing date and earnest money amount.
  5. Go in strong. If you go in with a weak offer, you probably won’t get another chance.

During a bidding war, someone is going to lose the home of their dreams. Don't let it be you.