Why first offers are often the best offers

By Estelle on August 2nd, 2018

Are you thinking of putting your property up for sale? And, are you noticing your neighbours’ properties flying off the housing-shelf? What’s their secret?

In this blog, we’re going to look at the very first offer; one that real estate experts often believe to be the best offer in certain circumstances.

How long should you wait to sell your property once it goes up for sale? Is there a timeline before that amazing above-asking offer comes crawling up the pipeline?

Shouldn’t I wait for more offers to come in?

Not necessarily.

When you get that first offer, whether it meets your price or it's a lowball, homeowners tend to think it’s way too early to settle and will decide to play the waiting game for that one spectacular offer. After all, isn’t it better to pick from more than one?

If you’re located in a popular market, one that doesn’t see homes or condo units sit for too long, the first good (but not amazing) offer will make you bide your time for something better to come along.

The problem with this gameplan is:

The longer a property is on the market, the less likely it is to see offers.

The first offer comes because it’s a brand-new property up for grabs and the eager buyers know it. The most interest in the property comes when it first hits the market and older listings will get dismissed in favour of newer ones.

Do you really think someone who wants to purchase a property for above asking isn’t watching the listings? Do you think they’re just going to happen on your property a month down the road and say, ‘Finally, I’ve found it’? The eager buyers are usually those with the first offers anyway!

Why work with the first offer?

Holding on to your property for the intended ask price or expected highball could lead you to a great offer from a buyer that eventually stumbles upon your property, but it could also backfire dramatically giving you more problems than progress.

The first offer is nothing to scoff at or dismiss. You probably and deservedly have high expectations for the sale of your property, but you must also consider other aspects of the sale, including contingencies and other negotiables. In most cases, that first offer will be the one that sets you up in a sale position.

If you wait, you could lose that first offer altogether.

When should I take the first offer?

This will depend on the details of your life and family, but there are some greenlights that should push you towards selling, even at that first offer.

If you’ve already moved out and are in a new home, or, if you just want to sell and move on to your next real estate project without seeing some crazy profit, it’s a good idea to consider the first offer.

If the first offer is in cash, then the transaction is smoother and you're able to negotiate more, such as an alternate closing date.

Lastly, if your property is located in a cooler market with a limited buyer pool, you’re definitely going to want to consider that first offer because there may not be many more coming!

Always negotiate

Getting that first offer doesn’t mean you can’t counter it. Even if the offer isn’t ideal, you’re still able to negotiate contingency details or put in a counteroffer to see how serious the buyer is. Perhaps you negotiate a deal where the inspection gets skipped or the move-out date gets extended.

Regardless, never get too greedy with how many offers you need before selling. Similarly, don't compare your home or unit to the others on your street or in your building.

And remember, it only takes one offer to sell.