Blog Post: Understanding Multi-Offer Situations in Real Estate

June 28, 2024

What is a Multi-Offer Situation?

A multi-offer situation occurs when multiple buyers are interested in the same property and submit offers simultaneously. This often happens in a competitive market where desirable properties attract significant attention. In New Zealand, multi-offer situations can be both exciting and stressful for buyers and sellers.

How Multi-Offer Situations Work

  1. Notification: When a seller receives multiple offers, their real estate agent will notify all potential buyers that a multi-offer situation has arisen. Buyers will then be given a deadline to submit their best and final offers.
  2. Submission of Offers: Buyers must submit their offers in writing by the specified deadline. It's crucial for buyers to make their most compelling offer because there usually won't be an opportunity to negotiate further.
  3. Seller’s Decision: The seller reviews all offers and decides which one to accept. The decision isn't solely based on the highest price; terms and conditions, such as settlement date and conditions of sale, are also considered.
  4. Communication: Once the seller makes a decision, the real estate agent will inform all parties. If your offer is not accepted, the agent will typically explain why and discuss other potential opportunities.

Tips for Buyers in a Multi-Offer Situation

  1. Do Your Research: Understand the property's market value and recent comparable sales in the area. This will help you make an informed and competitive offer.
  2. Get Pre-Approved: Having a mortgage pre-approval strengthens your offer, showing the seller that you are financially capable of completing the purchase.
  3. Present Your Best Offer: Make your offer as attractive as possible. Consider offering a higher deposit, a flexible settlement date, or fewer conditions.
  4. Stay Calm: It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement, but it's important to stay within your budget. Remember that there will always be other properties if this one doesn't work out.

Tips for Sellers in a Multi-Offer Situation

  1. Set Clear Expectations: Ensure your real estate agent communicates clearly with all potential buyers about the process and deadlines.
  2. Consider All Aspects: Don't just look at the price. Consider the terms and conditions of each offer to determine which is the best overall.
  3. Work with Your Agent: Your real estate agent can provide valuable advice on evaluating offers and negotiating terms.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Real estate agents in New Zealand are bound by the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, which requires them to act fairly and transparently. They must disclose the existence of a multi-offer situation to all buyers and treat all parties equally.


Multi-offer situations can be intense, but with the right preparation and mindset, buyers and sellers can navigate them successfully. By understanding the process and working closely with a knowledgeable real estate agent, you can increase your chances of achieving a positive outcome.


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