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BEST and Final, Or Is It?

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Redwood Realty License # 0225028579



I was going to title the post "What does Best and Final Mean" but I realized in a nanosecond that everybody knows what best and final means.  Those words....best, final...they aren't exclusive to real estate so when you say that phrase, clients get it.  The question is  do REALTORS get it??


Recently a friend was working on getting a home sold.  He had buyer clients who put an offer in on a house that was on the market for nearing 6 months.  Average days on market here is about 60 days.  Shockingly, another offer came in that same day.  As REALTORS, we know that sometimes happens but usually it's right after a price adjustment.  In my experience, buyers don't believe it, EVER.

The listing agent, with the "two" offers comes back to my friend and asks for "best and final". So, my friend believes that they want the highest price that the buyer would pay.  No more.  The walk away number.  What do you think?  Is this a fair assumption?

My friend talks to his clients and they come up with that number.....and the seller counters.  COUNTERS!!

Now I understand the listing agent's job is to get the most money for the seller but in this situation, I think using the "best and final" card backfired.  The "two" original offers were not close to what the seller wanted and the agent tried to bring the number up. So far, so good. Where I think the agent went wrong was in not letting the seller know that the number still might not be acceptable and that if that was the case, they needed to reject both.

Because what happened is that the listing agent and the seller left a bad taste in the buyer's mouth.  They were upset and distrustful and consequently withdrew their offer....and the house is still FOR SALE.

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Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

There are nuances in Best & Final (which we call Highest & Best here in Jacksonville, FL) that all parties need to delve into. One of them is, as you mention, the final number may still not be acceptable to all parties. 

Feb 16, 2014 10:08 PM
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Excellent post and information. These type of situations are occuring more often these days. 

Dec 02, 2014 11:33 AM
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Silly sellers!   As a listing agent, I don't ask for "best and final" or "highest and best" until the offers are close to what the sellers want.  Good post!

Dec 13, 2014 07:44 PM