Navigating Offers: Choosing the “Right” Path as a Seller

The allure of receiving a quick first offer is a common desire for both sellers and estate agents. However, the reality is often more complex than a straightforward decision.

According to some real estate agents, offers to purchase properties vary in terms and conditions, making it challenging for sellers to determine when to accept an offer. Contrary to popular belief, the highest offer may not always be the best option as it can come with contingencies and conditions. Conversely, the best offer may not necessarily be the one with the highest price.

While it may seem like an easy choice to accept an offer that matches the full asking price with minimal conditions, the reality is rarely that simple. Nevertheless, research suggests that the first offer is often the most favorable, even if it comes with certain conditions.

How to Evaluate Offers

Selecting an offer with the least potential for delays is generally a wise move, but it ultimately depends on the circumstances. So, when should you consider accepting an offer? Cash Offer with Minimal Contingencies: If a buyer presents a cash offer without many conditions, it could be worth accepting, even if it isn’t the highest offer. This type of offer may allow for a quick sale and smooth transition.

  1. Full Asking Price or Higher: If the offer matches or exceeds the asking price and doesn’t pose challenging conditions or contingencies, it may be a strong contender.
  2. The urgency to Sell: If you’re in a hurry to sell and the offer isn’t exactly what you hoped for, accepting it could save you time and mitigate the risk of not receiving another offer.
  3. Pre-Approved Financing: If finance is the only contingency, and the buyer has already been pre-approved for the necessary funds, it provides reassurance that the transaction will proceed swiftly.
  4. Substantial Deposit: A buyer offering a significant deposit indicates their seriousness and likelihood of securing the required financing.
  5. Property Condition or Renovation Needs: If the property requires work or is a fixer-upper, and the buyer is willing to accept it “as is” at an acceptable price, even if slightly lower than expected, it could be a viable option.


While a good offer should align closely with your asking price, market conditions play a significant role. In a booming market with high demand, sellers have more leverage. In a buyer’s market with fewer offers, sellers must be cautious about dismissing any offer, particularly if their goal is to sell promptly.

It’s important to note that most purchase offers include a clause known as the “72-hour clause,” allowing the seller to continue marketing the property to avoid missing out on a potentially better offer.

If a legitimate offer is presented by a second buyer, the seller must provide written notice to the first buyer, granting them 72 hours to fulfill or remove any suspensive conditions and proceed with the purchase. Alternatively, the first buyer can choose not to proceed, enabling the seller to accept the offer from the second buyer.

In a nutshell, as a seller, it is crucial to thoroughly evaluate property offers before reaching a decision.