Why a seller may choose a cheaper offer over full price | Just Ask Jan

We made a full-price offer on a piece of land. Another offer came in and we lost out. We have now learned that the land sold for less than our full price offer.

Dear Jan:

We made a full-price offer on a piece of land.

Another offer came in and we lost out. We have now learned that the land sold for less than our full price offer.

This doesn’t seem right. Can you shed some light on how this can be?

—Thanks, DBL

Dear DBL:

The market is heating up once again and we are beginning to see multiple offers.

I had two different properties a few weeks ago with multiple offers and just signed another backup offer today on a different listing.

Not knowing the particulars on your offer or the other one, I can only speculate. You say yours was full price. Did you have any other contingencies, like financing or a feasibility study? If so, perhaps the other offer was cash or perhaps it had no feasibility study.

The sellers choose which offer they will take and we never know what motivates a seller until we have the offers in front of them.  What is important to one seller may not be important to another.

In this market, strategy is an important part of our business. A broker called me yesterday; the broker is planning to write an offer on one my listings. She asked the question, “If you have multiple offers come in, what can help mine be the one chosen?” Very smart of her to ask ahead of time what the seller would like to see in an offer.

Things that help are short feasibility studies, fast closing dates (or not so fast in some cases), pre-approval letters in hand, and title and escrow company choices.  It really helps for all parties to have good attitudes too.  Honey can get you a long way.

Sorry you lost out; hopefully you will find another desirable home site soon. I am a huge believer in “what is meant to be is meant to be” so hang in there!

Happy Holidays from the Zufelt home to you and yours!

— Jan Zufelt is an agent with John L. Scott Real Estate in Kingston.