A seller received two offers at about the same time. He wants to counter both. May he do so?

It's not a good idea to do so because the seller potentially could be bound to sell the property to two different purchasers if both were to accept the seller’s counteroffer. Instead, the seller could reject both offers and invite the prospects to submit better offers using the Seller’s Invitation to Buyer to Submit New Offer form (TXR 1926) or the seller could make a counteroffer to only one prospect. When a party makes an offer or counteroffer, that party gives to the other party the power of acceptance to create a binding contract.

I’m working with a buyer who wants to make offers on three properties at once. She said she will terminate two of the contracts when she decides which one she wants to buy. Is this ethical?

No laws or rules prohibit your buyer from making offers on more than one property at a time. Similarly, the Code does not bar you from representing a buyer making simultaneous offers on multiple properties. If the buyer has a termination option for all three properties, she has the contractual right to terminate two—or all three—of the contracts within the termination option periods. However, there is a risk involved that you may want to communicate to the buyer. If any of the option fees are not paid within the time prescribed, it may be deemed that the buyer does not have a valid termination option. In that case, the buyer may not have the ability to terminate one or more of the contracts, which could leave the buyer contractually obligated to purchase more than one property.