“The First Offer is Always the Best Offer.” I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before, most likely from your real estate agent. Is it actually true?
When your home first hits the market and is listed for sale, there’s usually a pipeline of buyers that have been in the market for a couple months actively searching for homes. These buyers have seen homes get listed and go pending fast so they are ready to respond quickly and aggressively to any new listings they like. In many cases these buyers have made offers only to lose out to other buyers. When your home first gets listed for sale you might get 15 showings all within the first week or two. These are the buyers waiting for homes to get listed and have been in the market actively searching. After that initial burst of buyers, traffic might slow to 1-2 showings per week. These are typically the buyers new to the market. Since the initial group of buyers within the first couple of weeks are typically the ones who know the current market and have possibly lost out on a few homes to other buyers they are more likely to make a solid offer then a new buyer just entering the market. I always say, “A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.” If you do receive an offer within the first week or two and it’s a good offer, I’d consider it seriously, because you might not see another one for a month or two after that.
Feeling confident in your home’s value and working with your real estate agent will help you negotiate the best price and terms of an offer. I would always suggest negotiating the first offer as far as it can go, unless it’s a full price offer. I’ve seen plenty of cases where sellers will say “it’s only been on the market a couple of days and we already have an offer, let’s wait.” If it’s a good offer and terms, from a solid buyer my suggestion would be to seriously consider working with the offer in hand, because you never know when or if a better offer will come along.