Q: I put an offer on a property last week but was told that my offer was rejected in favour of one through another agent. Isn’t there some process to protect the buyer when two offers are received at the same time? Peter T.

A: This is what we call a multi-offer and the REINZ recommends a process to be followed in these cases. This process is intended to provide all interested parties with a fair opportunity to submit their best offer.

Firstly, your agent should advise you that you are in this situation and let you know how it will work, and have you sign a multi-offer form. For an agent to present you with a multi-offer form he MUST have more than one offer in writing. Signing the form protects you from being told that there is another offer on the table when there is not.

All offers must be presented to the seller at the same time, preferably by a neutral party such as an agency manager, so they can compare them and choose only ONE to either negotiate with, or to just sign and accept, so put your best foot forward right from the get go. Think about how much you want the property and how much it’s worth to you and base your offer on that.

Remember you are in a competitive situation: It’s like an auction but you don’t know where the competition is at and in most cases, you don’t have a chance to increase your offer – the best offer will win. This includes conditions as well – you should keep your offer as clean as possible so that is as attractive to the seller as possible.  Remember – there may not be a second chance!