Home Selling in Cambridge>Question Details

Patty, Home Seller in Cambridge, MA

We have an offer on the table and counter-offered it with a higher price. Now we got even higher...

Asked by Patty, Cambridge, MA Thu Jul 16, 2009

We have an offer on the table and counter-offered with a higher price. Now we got a 2nd offer (from another person) which is even higher than our asking price. If the 1st buyer accepts the counteroffer, do we have to sell or can we let them know that we have a higher offer now?

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The sharing of your process, opinions, the comments you received have all been one of the most positive contributing threads/discussions/information this site has had for consumers.

Thanks for sticking with it, sharing and always being the calm voice .
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 17, 2009
Congratulations, Patty. I hope the closing is smooth. On a side note, I am glad we have a successful FSBO on trulia, it is a great story.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 17, 2009
Well, we were on the market for 58 days. That is still below average for our market which is now 74-88 days (depending who you ask). I have to say that we worked hard as FSBOs (had open houses every other week and some extra ones in between ) and were willing to show it any time during the week (even on a short notice). As some of you know, we even held a broker's open and offered buyer's agent 3.5%. We also dropped our price pretty aggressively.

The buyer was brought in by an agent as are 2 other buyers that suddenly were very interested. We actually had 2 offers come soon after we counteoffered - it is very interesting but the other 2 people (both with agents) were just waiting for someone to bid first. In the end, given that things go smoothly from now on, they missed out because they did not bid first. The buyer's agent was actually pretty smart, she gave a very quick deadline on the first offer, yes we counteroffered quite close to the asking price (basically a few K less ) but she felt that there will be competition if they continue conteroffering.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2009
I've been following your saga, and just yesterday wondered how you were doing! Congratulations!!

Deb Nicholls
Web Reference: http://homes.debn.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 17, 2009
Patty, Great job selling on your own. Cambridge seems to be in a market by itself. A friend of mine recently had similar success there as well. He used the buyer's attorney which saved him some additional money, but caused him some grief. I would recommend getting an attorney on your own. It shouldn't cost but a few hundred dollars or so. Good luck to closing and congrats.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 17, 2009
Thank you for all the responses. Yes, we decided to go the honorable way and since the buyer accepted the counteroffer, honor that. We are happy to be getting closer to the end - it was a LOT of work and I think I do appreciate how much work it takes to sell a house in a down market. But it was an incredible learning experience and in retrospect, I am glad we did it. Let's hope we can successfully end it at closing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2009
Dear Patty, Until the counter is signed by the buyer the property is still For Sale. The Seller can accept the higher offer now before the counter is signed. Sue
Web Reference: http://www.Sue-Jones.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2009
the only people advising you need to be familiar with the paperwork.

In all professional and legal dealings all must in be writing.

Just think, the money you're saving on commission will allow you to pay an attorney to protect your interests.

Best of luck to you!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Congrats on the sale!!!

If your first buyers accept your counter, you have a binding agreement with them and you can't accept the second offer. If you put in your counter offer that the buyer has a certain amount of time to accept, then you'll need to wait out that time. But as Scott suggests, be sure to contact a lawyer as I am not a lawyer and can not give legal advice.

Again, congrats!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2009
Congrats Patty, a hard earned struggle. As I recall your FSBO, you should have your attorney involved & review your options but if they counter your counter then you might be free to accept your other offer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2009
Check with your Realtor. If the first buyer accepts your offer, then there's a signed agreement--a signed sales contract. And, yes, contracts are binding.

If there was a time period in your counter and that time period expires, then so does your counter.

If you're confident about the second offer, you can withdraw your counter to the first buyer and then accept the second offer.

You can tell the first buyers that you've received a higher offer. However, the first buyers could agree to your counter at the price lower than the second anyhow. So, strategically (and check with your Realtor) it might be better for you to withdraw your counter, inform the first buyers of a higher second offer, and see if the first buyers will go up.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2009
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
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