Well, we’ve entered the multiple-bid world.
So here’s some wisdom out there for you first-time home buyers. If you hear through your agent that their agent says they’ll get back to you tomorrow, refuse. Scream at the top of your lungs “No, get back to us now; our offer is good, and we need a decision now.” If they refuse to cooperate, retract the bid.
We decided yesterday not to be total assholes about it, so we paid the price — another offer came through on our condo last night, supposedly at above asking. From this point forward, we’ve now learned how flexible one should be with the seller — not at all. Now, I used the -ly adjective supposedly in the last sentence for a reason. While I had no illusion of doing anything about it, since I know this is real estate, I asked my broker out of curiosity, “Is there any legal necessity for them to have received a bid overnight, or could they just be making that up?” Answer: “There’s an ethical obligation, and if there were some way to prove it, they would lose their license … but there’s no way to prove it.” I feel better knowing I wasn’t making shit up yesterday.
On the other hand, we could have had an accepted bid yesterday, and nothing would have prevented the overnight bid from coming in and them switching their minds to take it instead. Until we have signed contracts proper, the non-binding binder is just that, as I mentioned yesterday.
It’s real easy to get into the auction mindset, “What’s another 5 grand over thirty years at prime rates?” But, then, that’s what happens on eBay; at some point one has to decide what their stopping point is, and stick by it.
At the end of the day, we are qualified buyers, with an attractive set of terms, in that we’re still early enough before our lease expires that we’re flexible. It’s always possible that the people that came in above asking are just as attractive … but we hope that they’re trying to stretch with an IO ARM and are coming in with inflexible terms. For our counter-offer, we’re offering asking — take it or leave it. We’re already pretty sure that this is at a decent premium over what the property is “worth” on the “market” but if the market is lifting a higher bid, then that’s the new correct pricing.