Advice on Accepting an Early Offer for Your Capitol Hill Home

by Sponsor January 13, 2015 at 2:40 pm 0

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This regularly scheduled, sponsored Q&A column is written by Tom Faison of ReMax Allegiance at Eastern Market. Please submit your questions via email.

I hear it often: “We received an offer the first day on the market and cancelled the open house!”

In a buyer’s market, a seller is less likely to receive what I call a “preemptive strike” from an interested party — who is more likely to take a wait-and-see stance — than in a seller’s market, where buyers who may be experiencing offer-fatigue are more likely to jump, at the drop of a dime, on the listing that came in last night.

More often than not, in a seller’s market, I believe acceptance of the early offer can leave money on the table. It seems clear to me that with so much more demand than supply on the Hill currently, and in light of a home’s viability as evidenced by an early offer, educated home sellers would want the open house weekend to play out. They should ask themselves if the early offer might perform better, or be bested, under a competitive bidding scenario.

Capitol Hill home values are always a moving target; location nuance, style and periods of renovations all make it tough. In my opinion, there can be as much as a 3 percent margin of error around what even the most experienced agents estimate as value. Without any other offers with which to compare, the only quality we know is strong about the early offer would be the speed with which it was pulled together.

If fast footwork and the speed of an offer were the main determinants of success in real estate, I would’ve been long-retired by now, but there is a better way.

The most effective way to handle offer acceptance is to have a solid marketing and listing-launch strategy before the home is listed for sale. Exposure to the entire market is crucial; time to saturate is key. I recommend listing a home on a Wednesday or Thursday morning, and assure all agents that there will be at least six days during which the home will be available to view prior to any offer review. Those six days are my sweet-spot right between a buyer moving quickly, and having their ducks in a row. Remember, it’s not always about price.

Home sellers on Capitol Hill have a big audience. Our price ranges can look extremely affordable to Georgetown or DuPont buyers who may be frustrated with prices in Northwest. Many of these buyers are working with Northwest agents. I don’t want to lose those them simply because their agent couldn’t make it down to the Hill fast enough.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of


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