Sunday, February 13, 2005

Beating the Competition for a Home

It can get very competitive when a nice home is on the market and priced right. I had an out-of-town client who got caught up in competing offers this past week. His was the only offer on the table when I presented it to the licensee for the seller at 5 PM on Wednesday. By the next morning there were two other offers and one more that was said to be coming. We were given until 5 PM that next day, Thursday, to make our "best and final" offer.

The property had sold for $10,000 more than it was listed for just a few weeks earlier. The deal didn't close on settlement day because the buyer failed to get his anticipated job. Now the question became: were we the only ones who had heard that story? If we were, perhaps offering a little above the list price might be enough. If others had that information, at least one of them could be expected to offer at that higher level. On a home in the mid-$400,000 range, $10,000 one way or another might not seem like a big deal to someone.

My client was leaning toward running with the listed price. I counseled bumping it $1500. I was honestly not all that optimistic, and was pleasantly surprised to learn the next day that my folks were the top offer, "but not by much," according to the seller's representative.

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