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When two offers are made on the same house

What do you do when two offers are made on the same house? We talk you through it, whether you're a buyer or a seller.

A row of colourful houses

What if there are two offers made on the same house?

Someone finds their perfect house. They make an offer — maybe they even offer the asking price right off the bat. That’s it, right? Well, sometimes things can get a little more complicated. It’s not unusual to find that there are two offers on the same house

Whether you’re buying or selling, finding that there are multiple offers on the same house can make things feel a little more confusing, but it’s actually incredibly common. A good estate agent should shine in these moments — it’s their job to handle negotiations, after all. Here’s what to do if there are two offers made on the same house.

If you're the buyer

So, you’ve found your dream home, you’ve made an offer — but now you have a little competition. Don’t panic. There are a few things you can do if there are other offers on the house you’re trying to buy. 

Firstly, decide if this is really the one — are you willing to pay more? Are you able to pay more? Sometimes, you need to take yourself out of the running. It can be a heartbreaking feeling, but there are always other homes out there — and it happens all the time. But other times, you may find that you can sweeten the deal.

If you want to go for it, there are a few ways you can make your offer more desirable. The most obvious is if you make a higher offer on the house — but if funds are tight, there are other ways you can strengthen your position. If you’re a cash buyer, that helps, but so does being willing to move quickly or follow the seller’s timeline. Show that you’re open to making their life easier.

If you’re the seller

First, congrats! Having multiple offers is a good place to be in. That being said, you have to decide what to do with these offers. It can be tempting to just take the highest bid and assume that that's the best offer, but that's not always the case. It’s good to really take a moment and think about how you can use these offers to get what you need.

It’s up to your estate agent to negotiate to get the best possible offer from each buyer — but, ultimately, it’s your choice. So think about what’s right for you and what you're looking for out of this sale. Everyone has different priorities.

If you’re using the cash from this sale to buy your next property or to help your kids get onto the property ladder, there’s a good chance you just want to go with the highest offer. But if you need to move quickly, you might want to go with a cash buyer or a first-time buyer, if that’s an option. That way you can avoid falling into a chain. Don’t forget some of the small details like white goods or fixtures that you might want to take with you. Making sure you’re all on the same page before you accept an offer is key. 

Multiple offers on the same home can be nail-biting time — especially if you’re a buyer and you’ve fallen in love with your dream home. While you might have to move quickly, it’s important not to rush the negotiations or make rash decisions. You can use your estate agent to guide you — and they should handle all of the legwork — but it’s your decision. Take a breath and try to work out what’s right for you.