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How can property sellers handle multiple offers?

How can property sellers handle multiple offers?It does not happen very often, but once in a while, our agents receive multiple offers on a property. The Costa Rica real estate market behaves very different than other markets. As you probably know, real estate agents here also behave differently.

Everything is different in Costa Rica than it is elsewhere and so are the rules. There are no rules in real estate in Costa Rica, and licensing is not mandatory. That’s the reason that we, at GoDutch Realty, have tried to adjust as much as we can, to the way real estate functions in the U.S. and other countries.

Homeowners and buyers in Costa Rica should know how we handle issues like multiple offers or request the assistance of a professional real estate agent.

Let’s have a closer look.

In love

Maybe you fell in love with this beautiful country. But you have good reason to move elsewhere now although the love is not over. You own an awesome property in Costa Rica, and although it’s heartbreaking, you have decided to put your property on the market.

After pricing your property way too high for a year, you have had no showings at all. Your real estate agent suggested you’d come down on your asking price.

How can property sellers handle multiple offers?

A week later

You have listed your property for sale with several real estate agents. You have asked them all to update the asking price of the property. Now, with your new listing price, things finally start to move.

You have had several showings in one week. Also, you have followed up every advice that was ever given to you to make your property look awesome. You’ve even decided to walk the dog while the agents show your house.

3 Offers

Suddenly, you receive two offers in one day. And while you and your spouse discuss what to do with the offers, you receive another offer the next day.  Now you have three offers on the table. But how do you contest multiple offers?

How to manage multiple offers

Often sellers are not in the country and it might take a week to receive your offer and counter. Meanwhile, it is very well possible that other buyers come with another offer during that week.

It is also important for you to know that an offer is not binding. An offer becomes binding when an option to purchase sale agreement is signed by both parties and earnest money is held in escrow. Before that happens, everything is still negotiable.

Few sellers and agents in Costa Rica have any experience with multiple offers on a property. So let’s spell it out and see what the options are:

Request best offer

In my opinion, the best solution for a seller when receiving multiple offers on a property is to request all participants their best offer.

When both buyers have a chance to give their best offer, they know that if they really want the property to be theirs, they need to put their best foot forward. It’s a one-time chance to win or lose.

This is quite a difficult and a big responsibility on the listing agents, who need to recommend their buyers what counteroffer to make. At the same time, buyers do have their future in their own hands, because they have to take the decision on what their final offer will be.

I’d like to remind you that often it is not only the price that matters in the acceptance of multiple offers. Ask your listing agent to find out which other terms might be important to the seller. This might help you win the competition.

How can property sellers handle multiple offers?

Counter one offer

If all offers are close to each other, countering only one offer might not be the right move.

But if one offer is much higher than the others, they’d do well to first counter the highest offer. Other terms of the offer might influence the decision also.

Sellers should disclose the multiple offers to both agents but this doesn’t always happen. A seller doesn’t want to end up with empty hands. Especially if they have waited for a long time to receive an offer. With multiple offers in hand, they have to play it right.

Counter all

Another option is to counter all multiple offers, with what you feel is satisfactory to you. BUT, that said, it is probable that when you receive multiple offers that don’t satisfy you, the listing price is too high. In that case, you probably won’t receive any more multiple offers on your property soon, so now is the time to take the right decisions.

No counter offer

If they are all bad offers, and your agent feels your asking price is right, it is usually best to not even make a counteroffer.  This might trigger a better offer from the buyers but usually doesn’t. Keep in mind that often the first offer you receive is the best offer. Now you have three, so you might be shooting yourself in the foot by walking away now.

I’m sure that next time you will receive multiple offers on your property in Costa Rica, you will know how to handle it. Buying or selling a property in Costa Rica? Contact the experts, contact us now.

The grammar of the Spanish version of this blog was checked and corrected by Wagner Freer of Spanish School for Residents and Expats. We strongly recommend this language school as your best choice to learn Spanish, click here to contact them.

Spanish School for Residents and Expats


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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Also, please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, we appreciate it.

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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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