Let's talk about "back-up" offers as a strategy.

Real Estate Broker/Owner CA#01772851 HI#RB21268

Here is the scenario:

I received a back-up offer yesterday - one that was knowingly submitted as one - on a new listing of mine. Agents and their clients have been all over it but, after 24 hours, no offers had come in yet.

In the meantime, a prospective buyer contacted me, I showed them the home, and we wrote up an offer. The offer was just what my client, the seller, was looking for and signed it.

And, of course, I made the change on the MLS to reflect that.

Since there were still some "contingencies", it shows up as "back-up" rather than "pending".

It wasn't an hour later when the first call came in and asked if I took "backup" offers, and I assured her that we do.

Well, when it came in it was NOTHING like the one the seller had just accepted. This offer was one that MAYBE might be accepted if the home had been on the market for a long time and no other offers eminent.

That got me to thinking:

Is it this agent's strategy to sneak in this "backup" offer which then would become a fully accepted offer in case the first buyer pulled out for some reason?

Because the seller still has to accept the back-up offer as such, because it would automatically take the place of the original offer.

So here is my advice to my sellers:

Absolutely do not accept a backup offer unless it is everything you want.

Treat a back-up exactly as if it were your FIRST offer.



Posted by

Hella Rothwell at Carmel Beach during Concours WeekCarmel-by-the-Sea Beach and Pebble Beach Golf Course California

Whether buying or selling oceanfront, oceanview, commercial or any type of real estate in Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel Valley and Big Sur, I can help you. Call me and let's meet in my Carmel-by-the-Sea office in Su Vecino Court on Dolores between 5th & 6th.

Or we can just chat on the phone to discuss your real estate needs.

Are you out of the area? No problem, I often never even meet my clients. The whole transaction is handled long distance.

As an independent real estate broker licensed in California and Hawaii, I can represent you with residential real estate, commercial properties & investment opportunities.

For more information

www.HellaRothwell.com & www.RothwellRealty.com

& www.HellaHawaii.com

Member: National Association of REALTORS, California Association of REALTORS, Hawaii Association of REALTORS, Del Norte Association of REALTORS, Honolulu Board of REALTORS. Also MLS Listings in California.


Hella Mitschke Rothwell (R)

Real Estate Broker/Owner/Realtor®
Licensed in California #01772851 & Hawaii #RB-21268

Tel. 831-626-4000 

Fax 1-877-822-9332

ROTHWELL REALTY INC.: Su Vecino Court, Lincoln & Dolores between 5th & 6th, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921


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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Here, in WI a seller can accept multiple secondaries, and so not just one automatically moves into primary

Jul 23, 2017 07:43 AM #1
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow, I have never heard of that before, I would think that only if it was a acceptable offer to the seller unless I am reading this wrong.

Jul 23, 2017 08:01 AM #2
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Excellent advice, Hella. I don't often see back up offers, but when I do they are usually as good if not better than the original which is what induces a seller to accept one.

Jul 23, 2017 08:08 AM #3
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

We just don't see backup offers here, although I sure would like to have one on every listing, of course.  ;-)  Good advice for sellers!

Jul 23, 2017 10:30 AM #4
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Very sage advice, Hella. Sellers need to understand that by signing a back-up offer, they can't put the property back on the market if the first trasaction falls apart.

Jul 23, 2017 11:01 AM #5
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Hella, my buyer won a back-up offer, and yes, it had to be full price or they would not take it.  

Jul 23, 2017 01:48 PM #6
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Absolutely don't take a unacceptable back up offer!! Holy smokes I can't imagine a seller agreeing to another offer that he/she didn't like or want in case the 1st went away.

Jul 23, 2017 02:33 PM #7
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

The only reason for a backup is to prevent a back-on-market, so it better be as good as the existing offer or better. Otherwise, no reason to take it.

Jul 24, 2017 05:07 PM #8
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

On my listings, i do not accept back up offers, i do keep them close if something happens, but so right unless it is perfect Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® 

Aug 24, 2017 06:29 AM #9
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Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®

Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea
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