No two multiple offer presentation formats are identical.
Within TREB the Listing Agent is given considerable latitude as how to organize the presentation and many factors affect the chosen format, such factors include:
- How many offers are there?
- The method for presenting two offers can substantially differ from the manner in which 10 offers are presented.
- Are the presentations to the Seller in person or by fax?
Although TREB and REBBA do not dictate that specific procedure must be followed there is an underlying ethical underpinning of fairness that must be adhered to. Failure by a listing agent to fairly present all offers is a very serious ethics violation.
Offer procedures may change midway through the process by insistence of a seller’s lawful direction. The reality is, the seller is offering their home for sale and can legally choose to sell to whomsoever they want. They even can refuse to reveal any reasoning for their ultimate decision. They may opt not to accept the highest offer because they want to sell to a particular buyer. They may choose to sell to no one. There are no guarantees for buyers.
Standard GTA bidding war procedure dictates that on the first round every offer is confidentially presented to the seller, usually in order of who registered first, then second, and so on. The listing salesperson usually directs the seller to be very stoic in the case and to not say anything to one selling broker about another selling broker’s offer, where the listing sales person is allowing the co-operating agent to present. The listing salesperson is under no obligation to allow the co-operating agents to present and may request all offers be emailed/faxed in.
The listing agent may ask to hold onto one copy of each of the selling brokers’ offers while they consider the others. Once every offer has been presented the listing salesperson usually meets privately with the sellers to analyze, compare the offers and strategize. This is when important decisions are made. The listing sales representative will counsel the seller about their various options.
The procedure the listing agent follows once all offers are reviewed is at theirs and the seller’s discretion with reference to allowing buying offers to improve or not. In circumstances where there are several offers, typically the selling agent will work only with the top few offers and dismiss all lower priced offers. They may also work with the top offer only, they may work with only top offers that are cash to avoid an bank or CMHC appraisals, in other words lowest risk and highest price.
Serious buyers should be strategic and with a price that will reflect the number of offers that are submitted and the price point of the home, blended with what their affordability is.