Bringing an old offer back to life


Dear David,

We put our house up for sale a month ago and got an offer almost immediately. The value seemed low at the time, so we turned it down. Now we are having second thoughts. Is it possible to get that offer back? – KEEPING ME UP AT NIGHT

DEAR KEEPING: The summer of 2022 has been a challenging time in real estate, especially when it comes to establishing the value of a property. We evaluate houses by comparing them to similar homes that have sold recently. But here’s the challenge: when the market is changing quickly, it can be difficult to predict where values will be from one week to the next. Buyer and seller expectations tend to lag behind what the market is doing, and aftershocks can be felt whether prices are going up or calming down.

In the last 12 months, we’ve seen home values shoot up around 25 percent, and subsequently return those gains. When values were rising, many people ended up feeling like they undersold. They watched similar homes in their neighbourhood sell for considerably more than theirs, even a month later. The reverse is happening now, as prices adjust downward from one month to the next.

In the last quarter (3 months), we’ve watched some sellers try to chase down the market. While prices have gone down, their impression of what their home is worth has lingered above the curve. Greed can play a bit of a role in this, admittedly. Everyone wants the best deal possible and regrets what they might have missed.

Prior to 2016, Waterloo Region enjoyed conservative and consistent market gains year over year, with only minor blips. Today’s prices seem to have levelled out, but we can’t say for certain. No one has a crystal ball, and after unsuccessfully chasing the market, some sellers may be happy to accept an offer that seemed low when they first received it.

Past offers can sometimes be resurrected. Have your Realtor connect with the agent who brought you the offer, to see if their client ended up buying something else. If not, you have a couple of options, but the one I like best involves turning the defunct offer into an offer back to them.

Your agent can bring the old offer back to life by changing the expiry date and returning it to the buyers as though it were still in play. They went to the trouble of making you an offer a month ago, and if they haven’t made another purchase, there is still a chance you could put this together.

PRO TIP: This one is for my fellow Realtors. I get two or three calls a week from agents who want to try their offer verbally. In two decades of real estate, I’ve never closed on a verbal offer. We don’t know for sure what buyers are willing to pay or sellers are willing to accept, so instead of just calling, do the work and put it on paper. An offer, in writing, is a powerful tool to put before a client. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling K-W real estate Broker who works with you personally when selling or buying. Call for a free home evaluation, and scan here to vote for David in the 2022 Reader’s Choice Awards!