Ask Andrew – Accepting the FIRST offer submitted
Q: If I just listed my home and I received an offer the first day the home was on the market, should I accept that offer or should I wait?
A: There are many schools of thought when it comes to this. However, there is no clear-cut answer.
Accepting an offer should depend on all terms of the contract, market conditions, as well as the activity on your home. Any reasonable offer that is submitted should be entertained, in my opinion. You can assume and expect another offer to come in, but you don’t know if that “other offer” will actually be submitted.
The best way to handle this is to have a good marketing/listing strategy before the home is listed for sale. I recommend listing a home on a Wednesday or Thursday of the week. That is close enough to the weekend that you can set a date for all offers to be submitted and allow as many people to view the home as possible, prior to accepting an offer. For instance, if you put the home on the market Thursday, I would recommend reviewing any and all offers on the following Tuesday. That gives buyers enough time to view your home Friday-Sunday and their agent can prepare their offer on Monday to be submitted on Tuesday. You should try to have at least one weekend of showings before accepting an offer.
Now lets say that an agent decides to submit an offer prior to the Tuesday (using the example above) and puts a clause that states “this offer is valid until 5pm on Sunday.” If you are reviewing all offers on Tuesday, what are you to do? If you accept the offer, you are assuming you won’t have any additional and potentially better offers on Tuesday. If you don’t accept the offer, you are assuming you will have better offers on Tuesday. So that can be risky any way you look at it. I would recommend entertaining the offer, as I would rather work with the devil I know, versus the devil I don’t. If the offer isn’t a full price offer with good terms, the decision is fairly easy and you should wait until the Tuesday deadline. However, if it is full price or even an above full price offer, you should seriously consider it. I have used this strategy multiple times when representing buyer clients and have had much success. However, if a buyer’s agent is to use this strategy, the offer submitted must be a VERY strong offer to be considered.
In my experience, the first offer you receive is typically the best offer you will receive. The reason for this is that a buyer that puts an offer on a property within the first couple of days it being on the market is typically aware of the market as they have been searching for a for a while, may have already lost a couple houses to bidding wars, or is so in love with your property that they don’t want to lose it.
So with that being said, the first offer is one you want to seriously consider. But, remember to take the whole picture into account before deciding.