Preemptive Offers

Seems like a lot of us have gotten used to the pace and flow of this heated up market and sort of know it’s rhythms a bit…sort of. Every once in awhile there’s a phenomenon called the preemptive offer that sort of throws a wrench into that awareness. When a house hits the market it’s not unusual to have somebody suggest that they want to write an offer and present it right away. Most of the time the listing agent will have created a game plan for reviewing offers and that will typically take it’s course within a 10 day period following the listings arrival. When I say most of the time I mean about 98% of the time. Occasionally the seller and agent will agree to look at an offer right away and not wait. This is called a preemptive offer.

The vast majority of preemptive offers are pretty much accomplished by writing a very attractive, over asking, non contingent offer. An offer that the seller most likely would receive if they waited. Of course there’s no way to be sure of that if you’re the seller but some sellers are anxious to sell their house. Maybe the idea of having groups of folks always showing up all week seems intimidating to them and they would just as soon have it all over with.

For what it’s worth, right now I think a seller probably makes a mistake taking an offer like this. I’ve been consistently surprised by what shows up on offer day and it’s pretty hard to determine on day one what will happen. I also think that if the buyer is so fired up about a house that he wants to write a fat preemptive offer the odds of that buyer not being interested in a week or 10 days are slim. They’ll be there then too.

I have to say that it’s a pretty weird feeling showing a house on day one of it’s listing and seeing it sold that night in the MLS…just as I’m going to call to ask for disclosures. I saw 2 of these happen last weekend. I guess if you’re a buyer it never hurts to ask, but if you’re a seller I’m really thinking you’ll be better off, and at minimum at least as well off, by waiting.