So, you put your home up for sale, with a listing price based on local comparables.
As luck would have it, a buyer comes along within days – maybe even hours – and meets that price. Heck, maybe they even throw in an extra 2 or 3 percent for good measure.
This is probably one of those times referred to in the phrase: “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” But sometimes, when everything goes right, we have trouble accepting it.
It’s a curse
The “curse of the first offer” is well-known to real estate agents who have been around for a while. The seller’s reaction to an early offer? Almost inevitable: “Maybe we should wait and see if we can get more.”
Today’s seller is probably right about one thing: There will be other offers. In marketplaces around the country, multiple-offer situations are commonplace. But assuming the next one is going to be a better one is likely to leave you disappointed, especially if your asking price is founded on solid real estate concepts.
In 99 percent of cases, a knowledgeable real estate agent knows just what the house should sell for, and works hard to set a price in that range.
The fact an offer is received early doesn’t meant the property has been listed too low. As you are probably aware from your own buying experience, a good buyer’s agent keeps the needs and price range of his or her client in mind.
With technology, only listings which meet those criteria trigger the agent’s alerts. In a low-inventory market, buyers’ agents will log on a half-dozen times a day, or more, to see if appropriate new listings have been entered.
Getting a lot of response to your listing early on is an indication of the powerful tools that make the buying system so efficient. If anything, odds are lower there’s a better offer lurking out there after your home has been on the market – even if only for a short while.
Often, ignoring a good first offer can lead to a delayed sale, and an eventual price drop. When the price drops, most buyers will begin to question if there is something fundamentally wrong with the listing.
It’s not usually a good idea to look a gift horse in the mouth. Don’t assume there will be more, let alone better, offers as the listing period progresses.