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The Downside of Submitting Multiple Offers: A Cautionary Tale for Homebuyers

Buying a Home by Natasha Lingle


In recent years, prospective home buyers have faced daunting challenges in the real estate market characterized by low inventory levels and intense competition. The urgency to secure a home quickly can lead some buyers to consider a risky strategy – submitting multiple offers on different properties simultaneously. However, a real-life scenario serves as a stark reminder of the substantial risks involved in this approach.

The Scenario:

Consider a couple, under pressure from the demands of personal family matters, searching for their ideal home. They have already submitted several offers on various properties, only to face repeated disappointment as they lost out to competing buyers. Frustrated and eager to finally secure a home, they decide to get more aggressive with their approach.

During a weekend of house-hunting, they identify three potential homes that could meet their needs. With the pressure mounting, the couple’s realtor (not me!) drafted three offers, each devoid of contingencies, and accompanied by a substantial $10,000 Earnest Money Deposit (EMD).  All three offers were submitted on the same day in an attempt to improve their odds.

The Unraveling:

The roller coaster of events began when the first offer was astonishingly accepted on the same day.

The following day brought another shocking development as the second offer was also accepted. At this point, the buyers found themselves bound by contracts for two different properties, each requiring a substantial $10,000 EMD, and with seemingly no way out.  Now what?


The Pitfalls of Multiple Offers – Potential Legal and Financial Implications to the Buyers:

Submitting multiple offers on different properties without contingencies may lead to buyers entering into contracts for more than one property, potentially exposing them to a range of legal and financial complications. Here are some potential consequences they may face:

  1. Legal disputes: The buyer’s failure to perform under the sales contract could lead to a legal action by the sellers. The sellers may seek damages, which could include keeping the earnest money deposit, suing for specific performance (forcing the buyers to purchase the property), or pursuing other remedies available under the contract.
  2. Loss of earnest money deposit: In many real estate contracts, if the buyer breaches the contract without a valid reason, they may forfeit their earnest money deposit. This can be a substantial financial loss.
  3. Financial strain: Being under contract for two properties simultaneously without contingencies can put a severe financial strain on the buyers. They may need to secure financing for both properties and may struggle with the financial burden of carrying two mortgages or lease agreements.
  4. Potential for default: If the buyers cannot secure financing for both properties or fulfill their contractual obligations, they could be at risk of defaulting on the contracts, which could lead to further legal consequences and potential foreclosure.
  5. Difficulty securing future loans: A breach of contract can negatively impact a buyer’s credit and make it challenging to secure financing for future real estate purchases



In a challenging real estate landscape, the temptation to submit multiple offers on different properties can be strong. However, the real-life scenario we’ve examined underscores the substantial risks and potential legal and financial consequences associated with this strategy.

Submitting multiple offers on different homes simultaneously, while not illegal, also raises ethical concerns – this practice can create confusion for sellers and potentially cause them to lose out on other genuine buyers.

Additionally, it puts buyers in a dangerous situation where they could be locked under contract for more than one property, leading to legal and financial complications. Therefore, while the desire to secure a dream property swiftly is understandable, it is far wiser to proceed with caution, making well-informed, ethical choices that protect all parties involved and ensure a smoother and more secure real estate transaction.


This article serves as general information and does not constitute legal advice. Real estate transactions involve complex legal and financial aspects, which can vary based on individual circumstances. Always seek professional guidance for making informed decisions in real estate matters.



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Natasha Lingle is an energetic and personable real estate professional with a proven track record of success representing home buyers, sellers and investors throughout Northern Virginia. Natasha is known for her deep knowledge of the local market, tenacity, strong negotiating skills, honesty and integrity. Whether providing expert guidance to buyers or creating custom marketing plans for the sellers, Natasha delivers the highest level of customer service to all her clients.

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