Select Page

Multiple counter offer Word CloudMultiple offers have returned to many segments of the Silicon Valley real estate market.  We are hearing about them in Palo Alto, Cupertino, Mountain View – areas where newly minted IPO money is having an impact – but also in more modest, middle class areas such as San Jose’s Cambrian neighborhood. The trend appears to be spreading.

What Silicon Valley home sellers need to know and do to attract multiple offers

If you’re a Silicon Valley home seller, what do you need to know to try to get multiples on your home?  What should you beware of?  In short, here’s what needs to happen if you want to attract multiple offers on your home for sale:

  1. The home must be turnkey, either fully remodeled or close to it – it must look like there’s nothing or very little for a buyer to do.  In addition to being turnkey, it must be squeaky clean and well staged! It needs to be comfortable – not too hot, not too cold. You want buyers and their agent to linger longer.
  2. The price must be at or even under market value.  That is, you must be willing to price it aggressively.  Think it’s worth $1,050,000?  You might list it at $999,999 to get in under a major price threshold and to be the very best, most attractive property for the money. Yes, it might be under priced.  Over priced listings get either one offer at best or, more likely, none at all.
  3. The property must be highly accessible. If it is hard to see, you probably won’t get multiple offers (and may get none at all).  (Please see articles on accessibility and on open houses.)
  4. Finally, the property must be well marketed.  This includes a wide range of factors ranging from photographs, text, fliers, signs, and even the commission rate offered to the buyer’s side.

What Silicon Valley home buyers need to know and do to compete with multiple offers

If you’re a Silicon Valley home buyer, how do you win out in multiples without giving away all of your rights or overpaying for your house/home?

Over the last few years, I’ve written a number of articles about multiple offers and tips for buyers when competing (concepts to beware of, issues around contingencies, financing and more).  This is a bit like a multi-chapter ebook on how to work with multiple offers.  I hope it’s helpful!

By way of quick summary: you must cover a few areas very, very well:

  1. You must be pre-approved by a reputable lender (fully pre-approved)
  2. You must have a strong down payment (20% or more)
  3. You must be willing to put 3% down for your initial deposit (also called a good faith deposit)
  4. You must have a good agent helping you – he or she must do a good job completing the paperwork (it needs to be thorough and without any major mistakes), must communicate well with the listing agent and represent you and himself/herself as a great team with which the listing agent and sellers will want to work
  5. You must have an excellent sense of pricing.  Your Realtor should “run the comps” for you, or may even prepare a competitive or comparative market analysis on the home you wish to purchase.  Pay attention to where the value  lies – sometimes that has little to do with the list price!
  6. Be prepared to balance out the price and terms offered so that you do not feel like you are giving away all your rights.  Some real estate agents may push consumers to write contracts with no contingencies for home inspection, property condition, appraisal or finance.  I believe that this is a risky and unwarranted practice – but learn about it since your competitors may be doing this.
  7. Read all of the articles below – they are here to help you!

Tips for Writing a Competitive Offer  Part One

Writing an Offer in a Multiples Situation? Financing Tips Part 2

Writing Strong Offers: More Financing Tips Part 3

Tips for Home Buyers Competing Against Multiple Offers – More Financing Tips Part 4

Competing Against Multiple Offers: Contingencies and Timeframes Part 5

Real Estate Purchase Offer Terms to Consider When Competing in Multiple Offers  Part 6

Sometimes the List Price Isn’t the Expected Sales Price, So Run Comps!

The Advantages of Presenting and Receiving Offers In Person


Interested in working with an agent who’s highly experienced with multiple offers?  Call or email me today!





  • Mary Pope-Handy

    Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of sites.