Should You Write a Back-Up Offer?

Real Estate Agent with Front Gate Real Estate Broker 11085

I'm working with several buyers looking for their next home, so every day I scour the Multiple Listing Service and hotsheet to see what was listed overnight. I'll check several times daily, and set up searches based on clients preferences to be automatically emailed to both them and me. I network with other Realtors to see what they have coming soon to stay ahead of the fast paced market.

Lately I've seen a fair number of sales fall through, as the house shows back up on the market as "active" or available. Invariably, the comments read "buyers financing fell through" as the reason the home is back on the market. (Buyers want to know if something was wrong with the house but that is rarely the reason).

It happened today. I received a notification that a house I showed to a buyer a month ago was once again available. Fortunately my buyer hasn't bought anything so we have a second chance at it.

But should you write a back-up offer? In some cases it is smart to do so. On a recent listing with multiple offers, we secured a back-up to carry us through the home inspection and appraisal phase of processing. If there is a hiccup with the buyer, we had a valid contract in place as a safety net.

You should consider your options when writing a back-up contract. If the buyer has his heart set on a particular home and has time to wait, I may encourage a back-up.  Each situation is different and there is no "one size fits all" scenario. Sit down with your trusted real estate professional and consider all your options. Sometimes another property hits the market that is more appealing that the one that got away. Or maybe, you'll get that second chance to present a better offer.

One thing is for sure, we are in a sellers market, so make your first offer your best one. You might not get another chance.

Comments (13)

George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Pat it can't hurt, and with the likely hood of properties starting to not appraise, we will see more and more properties back on the market.

Jul 08, 2022 05:32 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

George Souto - that has been my experience, too. Either the house isn't appraising OR something happens with the borrower's credit. 

Jul 08, 2022 05:44 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Pat some contracts fall through and at times it makes total sense to have a back up offer in place just in case.

Jul 08, 2022 09:19 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I've been involved in transactions recently where the backup offer is the one that was able to purchase the property. They can work!

Jul 09, 2022 04:57 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Pat. Sometimes yes and sometimes no! A patient buyer and an unusual home can partner to require it. So many variables. Different strokes for different folks. Enjoy your day.

Jul 09, 2022 05:42 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Pat - real estate and life is full of second chances.   And examples of successful events because of those occurrences are likely too numerous to count.  

Jul 09, 2022 05:44 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Pat... when it comes to back-up offers I could argue a case both pro and con equally well. As you said... one size does not fit all and it needs to be looked at case by case.

Jul 09, 2022 06:45 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Pat I agree with you, it is a smart move and nothing to lose.  I have selected this blog for my daily Re-Blog. Bill 

Jul 09, 2022 07:22 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

You make important points about writing your best offer when you are in a sellers market.  And, I like what you have written about back-up offers.

Jul 09, 2022 09:20 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Pat, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Jul 09, 2022 09:20 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

So, I have to know, Pat, did your buyers get it on that second chance? Sometimes it's just meant to be, right?!

And, like you, I'm a huge proponent of back-up Offers. I converted 2 of them in recent months. My folks didn't want to up the ante on the Due Diligence Fee here and lost on the first pass because of that but, we submitted the back-up Offer and they wound up with the home in the end. Had it gone back on the market, we would have fought that low fee issue again and likely would have lost again!

Jul 18, 2022 10:34 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Having back up offers is always a good strategy. The challenge is remembering them or informing the listing agent that the back up offer has been withdrawn.

Jul 28, 2022 06:28 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Pat, we are still seeing quite a few homes come back on the market, so always a good idea to write a backup offer.

May 03, 2023 06:51 AM