Imagine a kid running a lemonade stand. He’s selling his product for 25 cents a cup. He’s doing okay. Sales are good. Then someone comes up to his stand and says, “I’ll give you 50 cents for a cup. But, I don’t have the money right now. Give me the lemonade and I’ll pay you later.”
Should he take the deal?
Chances are, you’d advise against it. After all, just because the price is high — in this case, double — doesn’t mean the offer is a good one. There’s a chance the customer won’t come back with the promised 50 cents!
That’s a simple example but applicable when considering multiple offers for your home. Yes, the offer with the highest price is often the one to accept, but there are situations when that’s not the case.
For example, you should be careful when considering the highest offer if the buyers’ financial situation is uncertain. Have they attached an appropriate deposit? Have they secured a prearranged mortgage from a reputable lender? Has their current home been sold, or is it at least listed for sale?
It may turn out that the offer is fine, but these are questions that should be considered.
Another scenario involves conditions. The highest offer might have conditions such as your property passing a home inspection or the buyers selling their current home. That would make the second-highest offer with no conditions more attractive — especially if the price isn’t far off that of the highest offer.
Keep in mind that you can ask to have conditions dropped in your counter-offer.
As you can see, deciding which offer to accept is not as straight-forward as it may seem, especially if you anticipate getting multiple offers.
Jordon Sutton PREC*