When a property is in high demand, the chances are that more than one buyer will make an offer on the property. This can result in a multi-offer situation in which the vendor can choose whichever offer they think is the most desirable and move on to negotiate if necessary.
While your obligation is to the vendor, you must also take care to treat all parties fairly and ensure the process is transparent. The Real Estate Agents Act (Professional Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2012 (Code of Conduct) rule 6.2 states:
A licensee must act in good faith and deal fairly with all parties engaged in a transaction.
You must also ensure that you are not putting any undue or unfair pressure on your vendor or potential buyers when trying to secure a sale. This is outlined in rule 9.2:
A licensee must not engage in any conduct that would put a prospective client, client, or customer under undue or unfair pressure.
Communication is vital in a multi-offer situation. You must ensure that you keep the vendor updated with all offers and interests from buyers. Rule 9.3 states:
A licensee must communicate regularly and in a timely manner and keep the client well informed of matters relevant to the client’s interest unless otherwise instructed by the client.
Prospective buyers should be informed they are in a multi-offer situation and this is often done by having them sign an acknowledgement of multi-offer form. You should tell them they should be putting their best offer forward because they may not have the ability to go back and make changes later.
Equally, if a buyer pulls out of a multi-offer leaving one interested buyer left to make an offer, that remaining buyer should be informed in case they want to review their offer before it is presented to the vendor.