Handling Real Estate offers in Massachusetts

One of my favorite things when selling a Massachusetts home is to receive multiple offers. I know there are a lot of Real Estate agents that hate this situation because on many occasions it can become contentious.

When there are multiple offers on a home from a couple of different parties there is only one winner. Like everything else in life you can encounter some sore losers.

As a sellers agent, I could care less because my job is to get my seller client the best terms and conditions possible. It is not my job to worry about another Realtors or buyers hurt feelings.

What I have found about handling offers is that many Realtors do not have a clue about Massachusetts laws when it comes to this subject. It seems there are quite a few that like to make their own determination of how things should work.

Here are a couple of mistakes that I see constantly being made in this business from agents that don’t know any better.

In Massachusetts all offers whether verbal or written must be presented to the seller.

It is not at the listing brokers discretion to determine what is or isn’t worthy the sellers consideration. No matter how crazy an offer sounds, it is not up to the listing agent to be the judge of the offer. It is a violation of the code of ethics to withhold any offers whether verbal or written.

Do you know how many Realtors I know that flat out say they will not present an offer unless it is in writing? Lots! In fact just last week another agent was asking me about presenting offers because she was taking a continuing education course and the instructor told her that she did not have to present an offer unless it was in writing. It seems crazy that someone who is teaching Realtors what is proper or not does not even know the laws themselves!

One of the other biggest myths surrounding Real Estate offers in that a Realtor can not reveal the terms of a buyers offer to another buyer or their agent.

Revealing a buyers offer on a home

Don’t believe this is true? The Massachusetts Association of Realtors standard listing contract states the following:

“Seller here by authorizes the broker to disclose to perspective buyers whether an offer has been submitted on the property and to disclose whether the offer is from a buyer introduced to the property from the listing agent, by other licensee associated with the broker, or by a cooperating broker.

Disclosure of the price and any other terms of any offer shall remain confidential until closing, unless otherwise authorized by the seller.”

The key here is that the seller needs to give their agent permission to reveal any terms and conditions of the offer to another party. If providing this information could help the seller achieve a better price for their property then the Realtor should be doing whatever it takes, as long as it is within the legal boundaries of the law. The seller’s agents fiduciary duty is to get the seller the best terms and conditions possible.

A Realtor who reveals the terms and conditions of a competing offer without the sellers authorization to one buyer, gives that buyer an obvious advantage over the others which breaches the duty of fairness owed to the other buyers.

When it comes to Handling multiple Real Estate offers in Massachusetts there is quite a bit to consider. At the link provided I have summarized everything you should consider as a Massachusetts home seller when you have multiple offers on the table.


About the author: The above Real Estate information on handling offers when selling a Massachusetts home was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at billgassett@remaxexec.com or by phone at 508-435-5356. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 24+ Years.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!

I service the following towns in Metrowest MA: Hopkinton, Milford, Southboro, Westboro, Ashland, Holliston, Upton, Mendon, Hopedale, Medway, Franklin, Framingham, Grafton, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Northboro, Bellingham, Uxbridge, and Douglas.