Sound Off Brian Cleary Is there truth in the belief that the first offer is always the best?

November 26, 2018

This often heard saying for sellers is by no means always true. But if you’ve been working as an agent long enough you will certainly experience this as being the case — and have heard enough instances where it’s been true for your colleague’s sellers — that you learn it’s an adage worth paying attention to.

Here’s why a first offer is generally worth considering, particularly for a well-marketed property that falls under a popular house style and price range.

It’s fairly well known that when your property first hits the market it generates the most attention from agents and buyers. What correlates with this is that there are often buyers in the market who have seen all the properties in your price range but just haven’t found the right one. These buyers are motivated, ready to act, and they are also price savvy. They’ve seen enough houses in your price range to know the market. When that type of buyer makes you an offer, it’s often strong, reflecting both their knowledge of market values and excitement for a new listing.

Contrast this with when the first offer (or second or third) is turned down and the initial pool of buyers in the market move on. Of course, buyers are coming into the market at all times. But the longer a house has been on the market, usually the more cautious buyers will be.

It is also important to understand the general efficiency of the market. When a group of buyers and agents are looking in your area in a certain price range, there is often a fairly high degree of consensus on the approximate value of a house as it compares to the other houses being considered. This is another reason why it’s often a good idea to work and negotiate with an initial offer even if it’s slightly lower than your expectation.

While it’s not always the case that the “first offer is the best offer,” it helps to understand this adage and what it reflects about how the market works.

Brian Cleary, Halstead Connecticut,

(203) 216-4551, briancleary@halstead.com

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