Unveiling the Truth: The Reality Behind Multiple Offers in Real Estate

Imagine this: You've set your sights on your dream home, ready to make an offer, when suddenly you're told there are multiple offers in play. It's a common scenario, especially during the bustling spring market in the Fraser Valley. But what if those competing bids aren't as genuine as they seem? Can realtors really conjure up rival offers to sway negotiations or inflate the asking price?

Let me share a personal anecdote that left a lasting impression. Several years ago, I found myself in a situation where multiple offers were purportedly on the table, prompting swift action from my buyers and me. However, just moments before the offer presentation, we received a startling call. The other offer, we were told, had mysteriously vanished, leaving us as the sole contenders. Despite this unexpected turn of events, the realtor insisted on presenting our original offer without allowing us the opportunity to revise it. Their rationale? "I know what your people are willing to pay," they confidently asserted. After some assertive (read: screaming, threatening)  reminders from me to my colleague of a realtor’s ethical obligations, my buyer managed to revise the offer to a lower price, which was eventually accepted. To this day, my buyers still reside happily in the same home, nearly a decade later.

But what's the real impact of such situations? It's more than just a minor inconvenience—it's a breach of trust in the realtor, the profession, and the entire home buying process. In British Columbia, realtors are bound by stringent ethical standards, emphasizing honesty, integrity, and unwavering loyalty to their clients' best interests. Distorting the truth, such as fabricating multiple offers, isn't just frowned upon—it's explicitly prohibited by the Real Estate Services Act (RESA). RESA mandates that realtors must promptly and accurately disclose all offers received on a property, ensuring transparency and fairness in negotiations.

In a bid to enhance transparency in bidding wars, the Vancouver and Fraser Valley boards introduced a Disclosure of Multiple Offers Presented Form in July 2023. This form lists the offers received and the submitting brokerage, aiming to provide greater clarity without disclosing specific offer amounts or conditions. The form must be signed by the selling realtor and homeowner and shared with all participants of the multiple offer situation within one calendar day after the seller accepts an offer. This change is a step forward in fostering trust in the real estate transaction process.

So, can realtors still manipulate negotiations with tales of multiple offers? While the temptation may persist, the stringent regulations and safeguards in British Columbia's real estate realm make it increasingly difficult to deceive. As the real estate landscape continues to evolve, it's essential for both buyers and sellers to remain vigilant and informed. Have you faced similar situations? Share your experiences below or DM me. Let's keep the conversation going.

*In the intricate game of real estate negotiations, honesty serves as our unwavering ace, guiding us through transactions with integrity and transparency.*


Home owners should interview a few potential REALTORS® before deciding on one to sell their home. Here are 10 questions to get you started but remember that your REALTOR® should be willing to answer any questions you have about the process of buying or selling your home. 


1. How long have you been in the business?

A freshly-licensed REALTOR® can do a wonderful job and will have up to date training; those in the business longer bring more practical experience to the table.


2. How will your marketing plan meet my needs?

Specifically, how will you sell my home?  Where and how often do you advertise? Will you show me a sample flyer?  How do you market online?  The REALTOR® should be able to talk about what kinds of people are likely buyers and how she will reach out to those specific people.


3. Will you provide references?

Ask if your REALTOR® will provide you with references from previous clients.  Many will have a contact sheet with the names and phone numbers of previous buyers and sellers who are happy to discuss their experiences with potential clients.   If you're uncomfortable with talking to past clients, ask if you REALTOR®  has a website with a Testimonial section that you can read instead.

4. What separates you from your competition?

Key phrases to listen for: assertive, available by phone, or email, analytical, able to maintain a good sense of humor under trying circumstances, frequency of contact, communication schedule, and how your REALTOR® cooperates with fellow colleagues.

5. Can you help me find other professionals?

Your REALTOR® may be able to provide a list of service providers who can help with things such as home inspections, staging, renovations, or legal and financial advice.  Get an explanation if you see the term 'affiliated' as it could mean the REALTOR® is getting compensation from vendors.

6. How much do you charge?

Real estate fees or commission are negotiable and may vary from brokerage to brokerage.  

7.How will you keep me informed?

It's very important to be up-to-date with the process of selling your home.  How will your REALTOR® keep in touch with you?  Will you have regular meetings?  Will they be in person?  Over the phone? Via email?

8.How has your business changed in the last five years?

If your REALTOR® doesn't talk about website tours and smart phones, chances are she is not a highly wired agent.  While low techies can still sell houses, it it getting harder.   Listen for references to social media such as Facebook and Twitter, as well marketing sites as Craigslist and Kijiji.

9. How do you qualify potential buyers?

You're looking for buyers who have the desire, means, and resources to purchase your home.  It's your REALTOR'S® job to ensure that you're not spending your time with deals that can't be closed.

10. Do you have any questions for me?

An effective REALTOR® should be prepared with specific, in-depth questions about your home and needs.

~Some information taken from the Langley Times, Home Real Estate Resource Guide

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