Why Back Up Offers are a Good Idea in Today’s Market

In the Denver market and in many parts of the country, the inventory of homes for sale have sank to historic lows. In Denver alone, our inventory was roughly 35% lower in November 2012 than at the same time last year. My clients that are ready to buy and take advantage of the low interest rates are continually frustrated when we get to a property within hours of going on the market, only to find out that there are already several bids – which ensues a bidding war pushing the offer far over the asking price.

It’s a new reality where sellers have more control then they have had in the past few years.

In order to be strategic, I’ve been scouring the Metrolist for properties that are already under contract and  short sales awaiting acceptance on a buyer’s offer. I’ve found that writing back up offers is the best way to make sure my client can still get a shot at a good home. Also, back up offers make sense when our original offer wasn’t accepted due to a higher bidder; but at least we are in a position to have the home should the first deal fall through.

With all the ups and downs of lending standards, many deals do seem to fall apart. Also, many buyers in first position walk while awaiting  short sale acceptance. It’s all because the banks are backed up and in one case, the first position buyer had been waiting since July for approval. They decided to walk, leaving my buyer the option to come in and pick up the home!

When a back-up offer is made and accepted, it is important that both parties know exactly what has been agreed to. Of course the agreement needs to be in writing. Sometimes buyers are reluctant to be in back-up position, because they don’t want to be out of the market while they are waiting to see if the deal ahead of them goes through. But in every case, I encourage them to keep looking – the back up offer is just that – a back up plan.

It’s a new reality in the Denver market today. If a home is well cared for and priced right, there will be people knocking on the door wanting a chance. Could the economy be showing us that it’s still alive and kicking? Will this trend continue through 2013?


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