Money, money, money: What to ask a lender when you want a mortgage
Buyers | 20 December 2018
By the settled.govt.nz team
Lots of people get confused by the multi-offer process when they’re looking to buy. This is where all interested potential buyers are asked to submit their best offer on a property and the seller can choose whichever looks best.
This process means all prospective buyers get an equal shot. The seller is not obliged or required to accept any particular offer in this situation; they may accept one offer, reject all of them, or choose to negotiate further with one buyer.
A multi-offer process can only be described as such when there is more than one offer in writing – a real estate agent is not allowed to pretend that there are genuine competing offers if they do not exist.
All the offers have to be presented fairly to the seller, and the real estate agent is not allowed to favour one over another. Some real estate agencies will hold on to the first offer they receive while they check for others, effectively creating a multi-offer process.
This may feel unfair if you think your offer should ‘win’ because it was in first, but it’s worth remembering that the agent is working for the seller. Their key task is to get the seller the best result, based on both price and any conditions from buyers such as settlement date or being subject to finance.
If as a prospective buyer you are told that a sale is a multi-offer process but the situation later changes to a stand-alone offer, you must be told about this and get a chance to review your offer and submit a new one.