Is the HIGHEST offer Always the BEST ?

Real Estate Agent with EXP Realty 414-525-0563 57026-90 Broker

Money    We are the listing agents....who want your "highest and best" offer the first time...not fond of multiple counters with twists and turns...inclusions that are not listed as being included....closing dates that no one could possibly accomodate, pennies for earnest money and the all time favorite "Seller to pay closing costs of up to and including $$$$$".

   We believe the best offers are offers where the Buyers have shown some "skin in the game."   The choice to buy a for down payment, pay closing costs, due a timely inspection, are taken care of by the buyer(s).

   Of late, we have seen some "over the top" offers...beyond the asking price with a laundry list of what the seller will do....or in the case of Short Sales, what the Buyer and their agent expect the bank will do for the money that they choose to offer. The list can include but is not limited to....closing cost credit, inclusions of items not included in MLS from major appliances to landscape decor and the list goes on and on.

    Then there are offers...earnest money within 3 days of Sellers' acceptance, 10 day inspection contingency, reasonable price that will appraise...not an out of the park number likely to encounter further negotiation, and a reasonable closing do you Spell relief ?  Not always the highest...but these kind of offers are the best.

Posted by

Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 03/14/2012 09:41 AM
  2. David & Lisa Webber 03/14/2012 11:30 PM
  3. Gabe Sanders 03/18/2012 08:25 PM
  4. Barbara Martino-Sliva, Top Producer 03/18/2012 08:28 PM
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Adell Forbes (REALTOR®)
PalmerHouse Properties - Atlanta, GA
"Knowledge & Experience Working for You"

Great points & very true statements. Terms & conditions & ease of closing will win every time over "highest & best" with blatant demands.


Mar 15, 2012 09:37 AM #100
Dick Piehl
IMB Bank - Bloomington, MN

First of all, I want to point out that I am a retired mortgage broker who was in the business over 19 years and a home builder for over 14 years. That being said my son-in-law is still a Real Estate Broker and we talk all the time about the market. In todays market I would think a listing agent would be happy to have an offer; ANY OFFER to show a seller. Getting an offer is the most important thing that I can think of. Of course it would be great to get 20 offers that are all "in line" and very simple. But the market isn't like that for most listers today. There may be pockets around the country where this is the case but most of you would "LOVE" to present your sellers with an offer. You and your seller will discuss if the offer is any good. But if you take a 6 month listing and don't present ANY offers you will not keep the listing. But if you have "offers" even if they are not perfect, the sellers will know that you are working their listing. To me, a "bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".

Mar 15, 2012 10:06 AM #101
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

WOW...gone all day on appointments to find our inbox BURSTING with comments...thanks AR-ers.....we know you too know that it is NOT always...just....never just...."all about the money"....Amen....and Women.

Mar 15, 2012 10:49 AM #102

Short sale lenders are looking at the bottom dollar and not usually don't budge on some closing fees.  Highest is not always the best.  Congratulations on the featured post.

Mar 15, 2012 11:13 AM #103
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Thank you anonymous....!

Mar 15, 2012 11:20 AM #104
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

Never ask for closing costs if you want to win highest and best.  Focus on best. 

Mar 15, 2012 01:18 PM #105
Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate

Great post Sally and David!!

Mar 15, 2012 01:28 PM #106
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Closing cost begging begs neither the highest or the best.

Mar 15, 2012 01:31 PM #107
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

With the current plethora of poor appraisers I even worry about foreclosures coming in at the contract price. Weird market.

Mar 15, 2012 01:50 PM #108
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Sally & David,

It's not always easy to convince the seller to take the clean offer, some sellers always go for the highest and it doesn't close.

Mar 15, 2012 02:09 PM #109
Eugene Lew
RE/MAX equity group - Happy Valley, OR

What really is bad about highest & best, is that it makes you shoot in the dark, and bid against yourself. Closing costs is almost always needed especially with FHA & VA buyers. Not a problem, as long as the increased price appraises. The worst is when a buyer offers and unrealistic price, only to negotiate it down later on after the inspection or appraisal. Some sellers have gotten wise to this, and put a clause indicating the appraisal is not a way to terminate the transaction.

Price is not always best. Again, cash offer is not always best either, since they often want to lowball.

Mar 15, 2012 04:12 PM #110
Paddy Deighan JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

to me, cash is king and it ithere are two relatively close offers and one is may be the better offer even though it is less money...a track record of getting things done is also important to me

Mar 15, 2012 05:07 PM #111
Lorelei Bennasar
Redfin - Lake Worth, FL

Highest does not always mean best.  Easiest/realistic many times wins out.  Great post!

Mar 16, 2012 02:43 AM #112
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Agreed, the highest is NOT always the best. That is why as listing agents we need to give the pro and con of each offer and let the seller decide.

Mar 16, 2012 06:35 AM #113
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Sally and David

With short sale offers, there is very little room for negotiation. Knowing who the lenders are, what is owed and what the current market values are should provide good guidelines as what offer should be in terms of price, terms and conditions. It also helps to have an experienced short sale agent devising the offer so that it stands the best chance of getting approved while still getting great value for the buyer

Mar 16, 2012 01:47 PM #114
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

If only we could choose the buyers...or their agents...or the appraisers...or ...

Mar 16, 2012 08:39 PM #115
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

I thought I was the only one feeling this way. I can't believe the gall of some of the offers i receive on my short sales. Ha

Mar 18, 2012 06:02 AM #116
Mark Hoggard
Churchill-Brown & Associates - Nichols Hills - Oklahoma City, OK

What I've found is that my "seasoned" buyers are much more willing to make a realistic offer - including a higher than customary amount for earnest money -  that is likely to get accepted. Sometimes, if they do make a low offer, I have facts & figures in hand to back up their offer. More often than not, these are accepted - countered maybe only slightly higher, as opposed to a ridiculously high counter.

Mar 20, 2012 01:13 PM #117
Steven Pahl
Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423

Sometimes the "highest and best" offer disappoints sellers because the listing is ridiculously over market, whether a "normal" sale with equity or as a short sale.

Mar 26, 2012 12:41 PM #118
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

No doubt, terms are oftentimes just as important, if not more important...than price.  Everything has to be considered in an offer, and I'm with you...reasonable terms make things so much smoother. :-)

Jan 28, 2013 02:30 AM #119
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson

WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce
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