Your home has been listed and seen by a few or many people. Now you have a few offers. Your knee jerk reaction is to take the highest offer. That may not be your best plan. The highest offer may not be the best offer and here’s why.
The highest offer may not be best
First reason the highest offer may not be best is that your home may not appraise for that price. This is especially true if your home was the subject of a bidding war. If that top bidder has to get a mortgage then the mortgage company will have the property appraised. If they find that the contract price is higher than the appraised value, they won’t write a mortgage for anything more than the appraised value.
So unless that high bidder can put more money down to make up the difference, the contract will fall through. Those other bidders will have moved on and then you are left holding the bag.
That high bidder may just not have the financing in place or available to complete the sale. Just because they bid or offered the highest amount, it doesn’t mean they can get the financing they need or already have it in place.
Last big reason:
If they have the highest offer, they may also ask for the most repairs or concessions. Here is an example: A woman lists her home and gets a full price offer in less than a week. She accepts that offer and the home inspection takes place. The home, which was updated and in rather good shape inspected well, but the inspector mentioned a few things like “the heating system will eventually give out” although nothing is wrong with it now. The buyers then demanded that the seller replace the heating system, put an expensive filtration system on the well and make some other minor repairs. The seller refused to do anything but the minor repairs.
The house then was put back on the market and another buyer bid for under asking, but it was a cash sale and not one concession was demanded. The lesson? The seller actually walked away with more money in her pocket than she would have with the full price, higher offer.
Have your home appraised
So your best bet is to get information before accepting any offer about financing. Have your home appraised prior to sale so you know what that number will look like. Be prepared. Then you can accept the BEST offer, not necessarily the highest.