Ed's Chesprocott Region Blog: My Offer Was in First, Why Don't I Get the House

My Offer Was in First, Why Don't I Get the House

My Offer Was in First, Why Don't I get the House

A Buyer's quest for the perfect house takes a lot of twists and turns. Walking through many doors; hunting neighborhoods; hours looking at Internet sites for possibilities, and then it's found.

My Offer Was in First, Why Don't I get the HouseThe house is just what they want, and the contracts cannot be prepared quick enough. Send it over and wait for a response. Anxious moments and after a day a reply, but not what they wanted to hear. There are multiple offer, we are requesting highest and best by 5 PM of the following day.

This requires a very intense sit down with the buyer to let them know the status of their offer. The client is confused as we were told when the offer  submitted that there were no other offers on the property. Why did the sellers not negotiate with their offer until there was a satisfactory result?

No offer on a property is secured until all parties have come to a written understanding of what is to be offered and the terms resolved. Then once all parties have signed off on the paperwork, and the escrow funds have been exchanged, would the offer be binding.

Between the times our offer was presented, and the agent got a chance to review it herself, some additional interest was generated and other offers were submitted. As the listing agent's duty is to secure the best deal for their clients, all would be reviewed, and still keeping the idea of getting the best deal, all would be advised that multiple offers were submitted on the house, and all would be given the opportunity to consider a modification to their offer to give themselves their best opportunity.


This did not work to my client's advantage, who were beaten out by another offer that was more to the seller's liking. Buyers can get very frustrated when they seek out their 'perfect' house, and when they submit what they believe to be a fair offer find that someone liked it just a little better than they did.

This buyer will learn a hard lesson but will be better prepared when the next opportunity comes along and will jump a little harder and higher for their dream home.


My Offer Was in First, Why Don't I Get the House


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Comment balloon 51 commentsEd Silva • March 10 2016 08:30AM


Oh this is the story of many frustrated buyers in today's market, !   We know it all too well, here in Denver!!  That lack of inventory is making it a strange situation to work business, here.  "Knock knock.... do you want to sell your home?"

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Realtor / Author / Advocate/Short Sale (Keller Williams Realty Downtown LLC) almost 3 years ago

We see this all the time Buyers for some reason belive homes are still selling much lower than what the market is telling us.

Posted by Donald Urschalitz, P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County (One World Realty Inc.) almost 3 years ago

I'm so glad that my market hasn't been like that in quite a few years. I can't remember the last time a buyer of mine was in a multiple offer situation. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) almost 3 years ago

Low inventory is making it a challenge for buyers in my market. First offer is not necessarily the best offer. Within reason, sellers are getting their prices. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 3 years ago


The challenges of low inventory are mounting in different places.  Sorry to hear your buyer did not get the house, but I am sure you will find him the right house. A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 3 years ago

Well done, Ed. This is such a tough issue for buyers, especially when they fall in love with a house and make a really good offer. Education about the current market conditions and what's happening with offers is essential so they understand that could happen. And thngs can change so quickly even after an offer is submitted


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 3 years ago

Until there are signatures on a contract, it's just conversation. I have had clients under verbal agreement get dumped for a better offer, and I've done the same to other agents.  The seller makes the call -- pretty much always in their own best interest. Why wouldn't they?

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) almost 3 years ago

It usually just takes one hard loss for buyers to wisen up.  They can't go into multiple offer situations without their "A" game.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Buyers like this are too focused on their own immediate needs (aren't we all?) that they don't see the big picture. They can't see it from the seller's viewpoint. I tell my own buyer's agents in our hot Sacramento market always always always advise your buyers to consider the fact there will be multiple offers. Even if there are no offers at the time of offer; write it as though they are because it might be your only chance. We don't always do highest and best second runs here.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

In certain markets this is all too common with low inventories.  Your buyers will be better prepared when they find their home, though, and next time, I'm sure they'll get it!

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) almost 3 years ago


 I agree, that when this happens to clients, the next property that comes along they want to purchase will be easier to navigate.   They may not like the multiple offer process,  however," it is, what it is " and they will have to do what they need to do to get the property under contract.  Great post.

Posted by Dinah Stallworth-Lewis, NATCHITOCHES, LA HOMES FOR SALE (Priority Real Estate LLC - 800.978.4847) almost 3 years ago

Tough lesson to learn, but hopefully they learned it and learned it well.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) almost 3 years ago

Ed Silva 
Great explanatory post Ed. Another frustrating thing for Buyers - their offer even may be a HIGHER PRICE but maybe the conditions/stipulations were not as pleasing to the Seller...
All the best - Lynn

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) almost 3 years ago

An important lesson in how it all works.  I've had buyers who thought list price was the cat's meow and then not understand why someone could offer more.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 3 years ago

Hi Ed.  As the market heats up so does the pressure on the buyer.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 3 years ago

As markets change, situations change.  We as agents know this, and as much as it is conveyed, someties clients must live it 

Posted by David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor, Your local Expert (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) almost 3 years ago

Hi Ed very often buyers are not willing to make small concessions to make their offer more attractive.  One of my biggest successs with this was suggesting we pre approve and work with the listing agent's lender.  Of course I have my own lender that I normally use but I felt like massaging the deal in this manner would help and it did.

Posted by Joy Bender, #1 San Diego Luxury Real Estate Digital Marketer (Pacific Sotheby's) almost 3 years ago

I make it a habit to tell my buyers that we are in an area that will result in multiple offers. I let them know what I think the home will sell for (my gut instinct) and ask them to think about what the comparative analysis says it will sell for. I remind them to make the best offer they can and if they really love the home be prepared to offer an arm or a leg.... LOL

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) almost 3 years ago

Ed:  Being first is never a guarantee of getting an acceptance. Being best in the seller's eyes is. It's really unfortunate when you're told there are no other offers and then a day later being told to submit highest and best because there are multiples. It can be very hard for buyers who lose out to accept.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

I'm dealing with this right now.  I have a listing that went on the market Wed.  17 showings in the past 2 days.  Lots of offers.  The first one says "I was first and your seller should have signed it".  It's the seller's home.  They get to make the decision. 

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) almost 3 years ago

I am sorry for your clients, Ed. Sometimes it happens that way. I remember when (in the days before the internet) my buyer's offer was rejected in favor of another offer; oh the tears I shed! My Broker told me it would work out and my clients would find something they liked even better. I didn't believe her, but a month or so later, we did! Buyers have to understand that the house is still on the market and just because they wrote an offer first does NOT guarantee them the house.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

This happens regularly in our real estate market too. Buyers don't get it until they have lost a home or two.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Ed I have been seeing more multiple offers, so what happened to your Buyer will be happening more and more.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 3 years ago

I had a huge struggle with this last summer with some buyers. They were told by their lender to ask for closing costs in their offers, along with some offers that were a bit low, but something to open negotiations. I obliged with the closing costs, and low and behold, they continued to lose out on the homes they liked. Finally, I told them we have to not ask for closing costs and make a fair offer, because the market was too competitive (as is still the case). What do you know they were able to secure a nice home just in time for their twins to be born. I never thought we would get there, but they eventually listened and took advice and got their fourth or fifth or sixth choice. 

Posted by J.R. Schloemer, CRS (Kentucky Select Properties) almost 3 years ago

I give my best advice to my clients and if they don't listen I still do what they want.  If they lose because of not listening to me I continue to offer my professional advice and usually by the second (or third) time around they listen and win!  

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 Month Realty) almost 3 years ago

Ed Silva - this is a competitive market. Being first always helps - however, now-a-days sellers wait for best offer!

And yes, some buyers learn a lesson about current market, only after losing couple of homes to competition.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Ed. A well deserved feature and an important topic. offers not being accepted happens all the time, so coaching the client is always extremely important.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 3 years ago

Sometimes you wonder the validity of multiple offers notices. Wonder if that's just a ploy to get better offers.  What if it backfires? Ne prepared next time.  Its also funny when the property sits on market for 100+ days and your client makes an offer and its a multiple offer situation. You just wonder!!!

Posted by Sham Reddy, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) almost 3 years ago

It is against the Realtor code to state there are multiple offers when there are not, I know I would reach out to potential buyers that have viewed the home in the best interest of my seller when receiving an offer.

Posted by Steve DallaCosta almost 3 years ago


This has happened to me and a few of my Buyers.  Some end up dropping out because they do not want to "compete".  I agree, it is a gamble, but if this is the right property, this will give them a shot at it and a good chance to be the future owners of it.


Posted by Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker, The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around (Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd.) almost 3 years ago

Sometimes it takes the one to set-up the one to be...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 3 years ago

Ed, thanks for a post that  many of us are seeing played out in our area.

It is frustrating for Buyers in my area where the inventory is low and multiple offers are becoming more common. In addition, about 50% of our sales are cash.

It is very difficult for Buyers who have to have a mortgage to compete with a full price all cash offer.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) almost 3 years ago

Great post and reminder for all! I always suggest my buyers give their highest and best after having submitted the comps to them and due diligence unless they want to get into a bidding war and that like any other war can take some time.

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) almost 3 years ago

Buying a house is not a sprint. Because you get to the finish line first doesn't always mean you win!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 3 years ago

This is a tough situation. Unfortunately, some buyers may have to lose a few before they realize that the advice we give them is not to pressure them, but to educate them. The other situation that has come up is although a buyer's offer is the highest it may not be the best for the sellers.

Posted by Chris Lima, Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you. (Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise) almost 3 years ago

often times clients that miss out on these things did not listen to what I told them.  Get the offer in fast, pay a little more, and put your best foot forward. 

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

This is why it's a good idea for buyers to make their highest and best offer in tight markets.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 3 years ago

That's a tough lesson for buyers.  Sometimes it's not the offer price could be the terms.  Our current market demands highest and best offer.  

Posted by Melissa Jackson, Helping You Make The Right Move (Citiwide Alliance Realty) almost 3 years ago

It's so hard to explain this to buyers when they think they've beaten the crowd and have an edge. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 3 years ago

Ed, it's really hard to prepare buyers for how awful they will feel if they lose "their" perfect house.  

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Most listing Realtors if they are truly working for their Sellers will try and get the best offer being terms and price.  In your scenario at least everyone was provided notice of multiple offers.  Being a low inventory market, Buyers are finding that if they want a property they better submit reasonable/fair offers.  In multipe offer situations many times the sale price goes higher than list price.  Several weeks ago one of my customers had submitted a reasonable offer and was waiting on a seller response.  The next day the listing agent called to say the Seller had accepted another offer!  I know it can happen, but there was no notice given to me that there was a multiple offer situation.  Our office provides the courtesy of notifying all parties of multiple offer situations and have a specific form for all parties to sign

Posted by Susan Hale, Re/Max Northwest Ohio Realtor (Re/Max Realty of Defiance,Inc.) almost 3 years ago

This is certainly happening more and more here.

Posted by Rose Mary Justice, Synergy Realty Pros (Synergy Realty Pros) almost 3 years ago

Many buyers not emotionally prepared for a competitive market, but by the time they lose a house or two, they realize they need to take our advice if they want to prevail.

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 3 years ago

Sometimes buyers have to lose one in order to get serious with their offers.  Once they realize that they aren't the only fish in the pond, offers tighten up a bit!   

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 3 years ago

Sometimes buyers have to learn the hard way. If the buyers agent let them know up front that this might be a hot property and they might need to offer a little more to secure their offer and maybe terms  could be a little better.

Posted by Mike Baltierra, Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Corona CA (Rise Realty ) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Ed Silva ,

In a market with tight inventory it is hard for buyers to secure the home of their dreams with structuring a truly aggressive offer. Sometimes it means loosing a few before obtaining one. Good topic and well written.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 2 years ago

When we bought our current home, we were not the first offer and we got it. So glad it worked out that way. 

Congrats on the Feature!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 2 years ago

Ed Silva - saw this on a reblog from Winston Heverly - Sometimes our buyer can't or won't be able to make a better offer. But the highs and lows we have to deal with should make us be able to add a therapists shingle to our office door! 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 2 years ago

I was telling Praful what a great re-blog.

I think we have all been asked that question once. Okay over 10x. LOL 

Lauren Selinsky

Posted by Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS, "Your California Real Estate Broker" TM #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) over 2 years ago

Some buyer have to lose out on a house before they understand that  in a seller's market "highest and best" is where they need to offer, even if there's no other offer on the table right then.  If the house is a good one, other offers are on their way.

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) over 2 years ago

The seller's agent demonstrated why waiting for a little while can benefit the seller.  It's unfortunate that your buyer's highest and best wasn't the seller's highest and best offer.

Posted by Beth Bromund, REALTOR (248) 651-3500 (Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel) almost 2 years ago