Why the first offer is almost always the best offer.

by Karen Briscoe
December 31, 2008

It invariably happens, a property has been on the market for a short time and we receive an offer and the seller is reluctant to take it because they think that if there is one buyer out there that means that there may be more. If they only knew! Of course, I and other good realtors try and explain the phenomenon but until you actually experience it for yourself it often does seem it is true. In any given market sector in any given point of time there is a pool of buyers ready willing and able to purchase, they are just waiting for the home of their dreams to come on the market. The real estate market is not a static entity; it typically doesn’t vacillate as much as the stock market, but it does react to the environment that exists at that point in time. The particular buyer that writes an offer has more than likely seen everything out there in the marketplace and is up on all the comparable sales and what is under contract. So when that buyer makes an offer they have taken into consideration the present market conditions. If that pool of buyers doesn’t purchase the property, or in effect “rejects it” then there is usually 2 courses of action for the seller, change the property or lower the price.

Properties priced too high attract fewer buyers, showings and offers. Properties priced at market value generate more buyer interest. If properties are priced too high then both buyers and agents lose interest. In fact, what they do is say to themselves that they will wait out the seller, once the seller gets more realistic then they’ll come back. But what they come back at is a much lower price. During high school my son, Drew, worked at the local McLean Hardware store. He found that if merchandise had been on the shelf for some time and not purchased, then it gets “shop-worn” and has to be marked down in price in order to get it sold. Well the same is true for real estate. If the original pool of buyers has “rejected” the property, then it is more than likely the price that has to change to get them back. In order to make an impact on the market the price change really has to be in the neighborhood of 10% market down, anything less just doesn’t get their attention.

Well-priced properties on the other hand generate immediate interest among buyers and agents. If the price is too high, that excitement never happens. Dropping the price later will not generate the same enthusiasm. So how can I prove it is true, experience for better or worse is the best teacher. Unfortunately for the seller, to pass up on the first offer is a hard lesson to learn. As you have heard, it isn’t possible to make a second good first impression.

Call now to visit about listing your home or to purchase a property with Karen Briscoe of the Huckaby Briscoe Group, the #1 Realtor at the Weichert-McLean Center office. Office #703-734-0192, 1355 Beverly Road, McLean, VA 22101, www.HuckabyBriscoe.com, e-mail HuckabyBriscoe@aol.com.

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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