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Shut up and sell

6 rules for negotiating multiple-offer situations

You're in a multiple-offer situation and your buyers really want the house. When you ask the listing agent how much the other two offers are so you can increase the odds that your offer will be the winner, the listing agent says, "Sorry, I can't tell you that -- it's confidential." Recently, I had an interesting Facebook discussion about this issue with a Las Vegas-based broker, Jay Rosen, of Since 1917 Realty & Property Management. In Nevada, Standard of Practice 1-13 says: "A buyer's agent has an obligation to tell their buyer client that an offer presented to a seller is not confidential unless the seller has agreed to that as a term of the offer. A buyer must gain the acceptance of the seller as to the confidentiality of the offer. Otherwise, it belongs to the seller to do with what they like." In virtually all states, the listing agent has a fiduciary duty to the seller. The issue then becomes, what is the best way to fulfill that duty during...