Welcome to our Main Line Real Estate Blog

You’ll find our Main Line real estate blog to be a wealth of local information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings and thing to do in Lower Merion, Radnor, Tredyffrin, and Easttown Townships.. That’s because we care about the Main Line community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 24, 2022

Best Time to Buy and Sell a Main Line Home

Best time to buy or sell a Main Line home



STOP scrolling if you are thinking about buying or selling on the Main Line!


Interest rates are rising, and yes, they are higher than they were a few months ago, however, my advice to you: block out the noise! Whatever your reason for buying or selling, what really matters is putting your money into a place where you will be living YOUR life. The best time to buy or sell is when YOU ARE READY.


Too often are we listening to the thoughts and opinions of others that we forget what's really important to us — your quality of life is key... and your home is one of the most influential parts of your life and your happiness.


If you're experiencing any of these, then it might be time to really think about how you can take advantage of the current opportunities in the market:


  • Many "multi-purpose" rooms, or clutter
  • In need of another space for entertaining / kids taking over the house
  • Kids or pets needs more activity / yard
  • Unhappy with your current neighborhood
  • Cramped / shared bathrooms
  • Need a designated home office, gym, etc.


It's never too late and it's never too soon to consider taking action on improving your quality of life, which then increases your productivity at work and overall daily joy.


No matter the time of year, I’m here to help you realize your real estate goals. Remember, there’s never a “bad” time to buy or sell — so long as you know in your mind and heart, "It’s time!" So let's grab a coffee and chat about what your options are in today's market.





July 29, 2022

Buyer Closing Costs to Budget For

Buyer closing costs

Let's Talk About Buyer Closing Costs

When purchasing a home, everyone knows you need a down payment, but many people don't realize that in addition to your down payment, more funds are needed to cover your closing costs. Closing costs are fees that can include title insurance, tax and utility reimbursements, transfer tax, conveyancing fees, and miscellaneous smaller fees for services like notaries and wire transfers. If you are getting a mortgage, your lender could also require funds to be held in escrow for taxes and insurance, and charge underwriting and application fees. This may all sound like real-estate slang, so let me break it down for you...

How much should you budget for closing costs? I typically tell my buyers to budget anywhere between 3-4% of the price of the home. Here is a quick breakdown of what you may need to factor into your total out-of-pocket when buying a home:

  • Appraisal fee: $400-500 Underwriting and application fees: $1000-$2000
  • Title insurance: 0.5-1% of the purchase price
  • Transfer tax: 2-4% of the loan (in Pennsylvania this is typically split between buyer and seller)
  • Mortgage insurance: 0.5-1.5% of the loan (if applicable)
  • Prepaids: typically a full year of your property taxes and homeowners insurance are required upfront)
  • Any HOA/condo fees or capital contributions

As home prices and interest rates continue to rise, it's more important than ever to make sure your plan includes budgeting for closing costs. Keep in mind that these fees vary depending on location, loan program, and lender.

If you're thinking about buying and wondering what your total out-of-pocket cost might be, send me a message I would be happy to put together an estimate for you!

Posted in Buying Tips
July 14, 2022

Are Main Line Real Estate Values Exploding? Absolutely NOT!!

Main Line Bidding Wars Haven't Increased Prices

We've all heard the stories this year: Main Line listings that sell in a day well above the asking price; sellers who receive 30 offers on their listings; buyers who waive inspection and mortgage contingencies in order to win the bidding war, crazy love letters to sellers, etc.

There's currently only a 1.2 month supply of houses locally. There were 20% less listings and homes sold in the first six months of this year compared to last year. It's a good guess that these factors have increased appreciation on the Main Line this year. They haven't.

Median Appreciation

The chart below shows the first six months of median appreciation for the Main Line (including Lower Merion, Radnor, Tredyffrin, and Easttown townships). Statistics were obtained through Bright MLS. The median appreciation the first half of this year was 0.74%. The median appreciation for the first half of the year for the last five years averaged 5.8%. 2017 to 2021 median appreciation was 2.8%, 3.8%, 1%, 11.7%, and 9.9% respectively. Median appreciation is a good indicator of the market because it's the price that an equal number of homes sold below and above that price. This eliminates a few very expensive or low priced houses that can skew the statistics.

So after all the multiple offers, waived inspections, and bidding wars this year, the median sales price was flat. And the lowest in five years.

Median Main Line Appreciation

Average Appreciation

The chart below shows the average appreciation for the first half of this year vs. the last five years. The first half of this year Main Line home values appreciated 4%. The average of the previous five years during the same period was 6.4%. That means that this year appreciation was 37% less than the average of the last five years. 2017 to 2021 average appreciation was 4.1%, 1%, 2.8%, 10.5%, and 13.6% respectively.

Main Line Average Appreciation 2022

Because there were 20% less homes for sale, the Days on Market decreased by 25%. It took the average listing 24 days to sell vs 32 days last year.

What Does This Mean For The Market?

Buyers who thought that Main Line prices increased 15-20% are mistaken. 4% appreciation this year is less than three of the last five years. And 0.74% median appreciation this year is - by far - the lowest in the last five years. The 1.2 months supply of listings is very low and will lead to multiple offers and waived contingencies, BUT, there should be less of it going forward. We're already seeing an increase in price reductions in the market, which we haven't seen this year until last month. Inspection contingencies are starting to be elected again in buyer offers (and accepted by sellers). It's still a strong seller's market, but buyers may no longer need to give up their right arm to land a house in the second half of the year.

The market is constantly changing. Contact me for more details and to help you navigate the market as is continues to shift.

Posted in Market Updates
May 24, 2022

How To Increase Your Home's Value


The world sure looks and feels a lot different in 2022 than it did a couple of years ago, and our homes have been at the center of massive change due to remote work and changing values. 🌎 

Outdoor spaces, home offices, and recreation rooms have topped the list of home improvements that buyers are seeking in a home today.  So whether you are thinking about selling this year, or in ten years, I'm here to share the updates that will add the most value to your home.

The home improvements with the highest return on investment in today's market are:

✔️ Convert or add a home office

✔️ Add more square footage by finishing your basement

✔️ Minor (yet highly impactful) kitchen or bath refresh:  paint cabinets / replace vanity, add quartz or granite counters, upgrade backsplash or sink, replace appliances, swap lighting and plumbing fixtures

✔️ Refinish floors or replace dated carpet with a luxury vinyl plank or hardwood

✔️ Deck/Patio/Porch Addition

✔️ Thoughtful landscaping and privacy

✔️ Paint a new, neutral color to create a cohesive look throughout the home

✔️ Accent walls — not paint or wallpaper, but custom millwork such as shiplap or board and batten

The best way to gauge what you can expect in terms of resale value on home improvement projects (especially if you’re planning to sell soon) is to talk to a real estate agent — that's me! I know the local trends and can give you advice on what upgrades would be best for your home. 

If you're thinking about a home renovation project — big or small — I'd love to give you my opinion, whether you are thinking about making a move in the next few years or not: it's all in understanding your equity position and tapping into that potential. 

Posted in Selling Tips
April 5, 2022

How Was the Q1 Main Line Real Estate Market?

The words "crazy" and "insane" are the words I hear the most when Realtors, buyers, and sellers describe the Main Line real estate market over the last year.

Is that accurate? Everyone has heard stories of bidding wars with 25 offers where the seller got 100K+ over asking price and the the buyers waived their all of their inspection and mortgage contingencies. But a closer look at the sales statistics may surprise you.


The average sales price in the first quarter of 2022 was almost exactly what it was in 2021 over the same period. The $765,000 average sale price was unchanged. Even with all of the multiple offers that drove up the final sales prices over asking prices, the average sales price of a house on the Main Line didn't move.

The median sales price actually DECREASED 12.7% to $576,000. What accounts for the difference between the average and median sales prices? Fewer super-luxury homes sold this year and more of the lower price range homes sold, which brought the median sales price down to $576,000 this year, compared to $660,000 in the first quarter of 2021.

Inventory, or the number of homes on the market at a given time, DECREASED 43% in the first quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2021. Last April 1st there were 352 homes on the market, compared to just 200 this April 1st. Even though there were far fewer homes on the market this year, it didn't increased the average sales price.

Houses sold 31% more quickly this first quarter compared to the first quarter last year. The combined days on market decreased from 58 days to 40 days. Less inventory led to immediate buyer interest, which decreased the days on market.

There were 20% less homes sold the first quarter this year compared to the first quarter last year, 429 sales last year vs. 342 homes sold this first quarter. Less inventory led to less sales.

The total sales volume also decreased 20%, from 326 million last first quarter to 261.5 million this first quarter.

So what does all of this mean?

How was the first quarter on the Main Line? The common expectation is that multiple offers, bidding wars, and a lack of inventory have driven up sales prices on the Main Line. The sales statistics, which were obtained from Bright MLS and include Lower Merion, Radnor, Tredyffrin, and Easttown townships, show that the average sales price is flat and the median sales price decreased by 12.7% ($84,000) the first quarter compared to a year ago. So there were 20% less sales compared to last year but that hasn't led to a bump on sales price - yet! Interest rates have increased more in the last two months that at any point in the last 25 years - from 3.5 in February to around 5% today. How will the increase in rates affect the Main Line marketplace? It could possibly lead to buyers holding firm and not offering 10-20% over asking price for houses - something we've seen since last Winter. It could also mean fewer buyers in the market, which would slightly balance the market. We may see an 85% seller's market instead of the 100% seller's market we've seen for a year-plus. Sellers will still do well with their sales prices going forward, but buyers may see a little less competition which would be a positive sign for them.

Have questions about the market? Reach out to us anytime to have us make sense of our changing market.

John Flanagan
Real Estate Advisor
Keller Williams Realty

Posted in Market Updates
March 31, 2022

7 Bidding War Mistakes Today’s Homebuyers Are Making in Droves

Courtesy of By Lisa Johnson Mandell at Realtor.com

Bidding wars are the new normal for buying a home today. In desirable areas, there may be multiple offers, which might force you to up the ante in a dizzying quest to come out on top.

Yet in the heat of the moment, many buyers run the risk of becoming overzealous, making mistakes that cost them the deal—or worse, land them with a house they regret. Don’t be one of them!

Here are some common bidding war mistakes you might be particularly tempted to make in today’s crazy market, along with some smarter, saner alternatives to try.

1. Bidding every last penny you have

“The market in Seattle is so competitive these days that houses go for tens of thousands of dollars above the list price,” says Lily Lei, an agent with RSVP Real Estate. “I’ve had buyers who want to bid all the money in their budget in order to win a bidding war, and I counsel them away from it.”


“The house may require tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs immediately, like a new roof or new plumbing,” Lei continues. “They would have no money left to cover these essential repairs.”

In a heated market, “the appraisal may come in low,” she says. This means the bank’s appraisal says the home is worth less than what you’ve agreed to pay for it.

“Then you’d need a higher down payment to make up the difference,” Lei explains.

What to do instead: “Unless my clients have families who can give them the extra funds, I advise them to hold back 10% to 40% beyond what they can actually afford,” says Lei. “If it’s a young couple who are out on their own, for example, and they have no other financial resources, I tell them, ‘Maybe this is just not the house for you. There will be others.’”

2. Bidding with many contingencies

“You should never get involved in a bidding war before your financing is in place and you know exactly where your money is coming from,” says Glenn Raynes, a Las Vegas real estate investor who has been involved in numerous bidding wars and won most of them.

He especially advises against having your offer be contingent upon the sale of your current house.

“The seller will always pick the bid with the fewest uncertainties,” says Raynes. He recalls that he once won a bidding war on a Huntington Beach home with the third-highest offer it received. The reason? He was an all-cash buyer, which meant a quick and seamless closing.

What to do instead: Most of us aren’t in a position to offer cash, but we can get pre-approved by a lender before we go into the bidding war. We can also make sure the sale of our current house doesn’t enter into the deal. You could sell and then rent prior to bidding on a new house—or possibly sell and request a lease-back agreement from the new owner.

“It’s seldom all about price,” says Raynes. “Find out what else is important to the seller and try to accommodate that better than anyone else.”

3. Bidding with no contingencies

Jared Blank and Kacey Bingham, managing partners of The Agency in Denver, have seen buyers get so excited while bidding that they release all contingencies. That includes waiving the right to a home inspection and the ability to back out of the deal if an inspection reveals major flaws.

What to do instead: “If buyers want to be competitive in this market, they need to compromise on a lot of things,” says Blank. But the inspection is not one of them. If you win the bid on a house that’s crumbling and you can’t back out, it’s no win at all.

Instead, bid as high as you can comfortably afford, and make compromises on things like the length of escrow and down payment. But never, ever sacrifice the right to inspection as a negotiation point.

4. Assuming you’ll get a second chance

“Here in the Chicagoland area, bidding wars just won’t quit,” notes Janice Corley, founder and CEO of Re/Max Collection Premier by Janice Corley, a Chicago-based real estate brokerage. “Very often, we see hopeful buyers lose out on their second chance.”

Prospective buyers think they’ll have more chances to raise their bid if needed, and they are often wrong about that, Corley explains.

What to do instead: “If you find yourself in a multiple-bid situation, I recommend writing your bid as if you will not have a second chance to negotiate,” Corley advises. Consider it one and done!

5. Using the term ‘best and final offer’

You see people using this term on real estate reality TV shows. (Translation: “Negotiation is done, and I’m not offering you one penny or concession more.”) But what works on TV doesn’t always work in real life.

In a bidding war, negotiations are never over until the seller is ready to throw in the towel.

“Never use the term ‘best and final’ because it usually isn’t the case,” according to Todd Miller at The Agency New Canaan, CT. “Once you use this term, the listing broker will not take you seriously if you actually counteroffer again.”

“There are other important negotiable things that the seller will probably take into consideration,” adds Cliff Smith, also at The Agency in New Canaan. “These include the closing date, a larger down payment, or potentially removing a contingency, etc. If the seller sees the term ‘best and final,’ they may not come back to your bid to see about altering any terms other than price to make the deal work. Instead, they may choose another offer.”

What to do instead: Even if you’ve bid as much as you can possibly afford, never tell the sellers that. They might take you at your word and cut you from the herd. There might be other contingencies you might be able to handle, like a few months of leasing the property back to the seller at a reasonable price. Sometimes sellers aren’t ready to move yet.

6. Using an escalation clause

An escalation clause automatically increases your purchase offer by a certain amount above all competing offers. This continues until the price reaches the maximum price you’ve determined you’re willing to pay for the home. In other words, you bid $500,000 on a house and write an escalation clause that tops the highest bid by $5,000, until the price reaches $550,000.

“Our agents are not big fans of escalation clauses,” says Don Mastroianni of The Agency North Shore Long Island.

This clause puts the bidding beyond your or your agent’s control. Also, it doesn’t take into consideration valuable contingencies beyond price that you or other bidders might be willing to add.

What to do instead: “We recommend clients give a very strong offer right from the start to be able to stand out from the competition,” says Mastroianni.

Make a strong entrance with a high bid, and you’ll never be forgotten.

7. Not knowing a home’s true value

Some buyers are hesitant to offer above the asking price in a bidding war, thinking that the home is not worth more than that. What they don’t realize is that sellers often intentionally price their home slightly below its true value to get a bidding war going and have potential buyers drive the price much higher in the heat of competition.

Meredith Schlosser of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Brentwood, CA, notes that buyers are less likely to win a bidding war if they “won’t step up to their highest price. Instead, they choose to believe the property is worth less.” As a result, they lose the house.

What to do instead: Refer to “numbers and proven stats that take into consideration the lack of inventory, market trends, how much the price of properties have increased in certain areas over time,” suggests Schlosser. “This will give you a better understanding of what the property is worth.”

Courtesy of By Lisa Johnson Mandell at Realtor.com

Posted in Buying Tips
March 23, 2022

How the Rise in Interest Rate Affects You

In an effort to slow down inflation, the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates and is expected to raise them again later this month.

So do rising rates affect your buying power? They do, and more significantly than you may think.

So as rates rise, the less home you can afford — which is going to make being competitive even more difficult in an already tough seller's market. So if you've been waiting on the sidelines for the market to slow down, it's time to get in the game, while rates are still low!

However, it's important to remember that even though rates may be rising, they are still very low from a historical perspective — so it is still a great time to buy a home, especially as a move-up buyer.

If you are ready to make a move, I'd love to connect you with a lender that has the lowest rates around!

Posted in Buying Tips
March 11, 2022

New Listing: Single Tudor in Havertown

2418 Wynnewood Drive

Don’t miss this builder-renovated single Tudor home in the desirable Merwood Park area of Havertown. It’s a short walk to the 100 train line, Wynnewood Lanes, four beautiful parks, Oakmont Farmers Market, the popular Brick & Brew restaurant, shopping, and more! The main level was opened up to create an easy flow and much of the original millwork, doors, and inlaid hardwood flooring was preserved. The focus of the living room is the original 1920s stone fireplace with stone mantelpiece. Oversized windows and the light from the front door light up the room. The elegant dining room features three large windows, chair rail and a glass door which opens to the covered patio. The remodeled kitchen features new wood cabinets with soft-close hinges, LED under cabinet lighting, peninsula and granite countertops, new tile flooring and marble backsplash, new stainless-steel appliances. There is main level bonus room, perfect for a home office, playroom, or den. A second floor bedroom was converted into a master en-suite bathroom, including a free-standing soaking tub, a spacious 48-inch neo-angle shower with a glass enclosure, a two-sink vanity with a marble top, beadboard paneling, tile floor, tile shower floor and walls, a large linen closet, and plumbing for second floor laundry. The third floor attic was converted into a bedroom with a new, ductless HVAC system. The entire house has been insulated. Schedule your showing today!

Offered for $625,000
Three Bedrooms
2.5 Baths
1,920 square feet

More info here.

John Flanagan
Keller Williams Realty
610-256-4435 (cell)
610-647-8300 (office)



Posted in Listings
March 8, 2022

Best Kept Secrets To Selling Your Home

Seller Tips

Even in a hot seller's market, it's important to partner with the right agent when selling your home. Will most homes sell quickly in this market? Yes, but wouldn't you also like to net the most amount possible for your home? 

Below are some of my best-kept secrets to selling your home quickly, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘥𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘳:

1. ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ ɪᴛ ʀɪɢʜᴛ.

Overpricing your home (even by a few thousand) is one very easy way to make sure you don't get top dollar for your home. Buyers in today's market know what your home is worth due to having access to all of the online valuation tools, and if it is overpriced, they will wait for the price to drop. A home priced correctly will ALWAYS generate more interest and sell faster.

2. ʟɪɢʜᴛ ɪᴛ ᴜᴘ.

It is important to always maximize the light in your home. Every buyer wants great lighting, so make sure you remove any curtains, clean the windows inside & out, open the blinds, and turn on all of the lights during showings. These easy steps will make your home feel brighter & more welcoming.

3. ᴄʟᴇᴀɴ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴄʟᴏꜱᴇᴛꜱ.

Storage is something every buyer is looking for, and can never have enough of. Organize your closets and donate anything you don't wear or need anymore. 

4. ᴄʜᴏᴏꜱᴇ ɴᴇᴜᴛʀᴀʟ ᴘᴀɪɴᴛ ᴄᴏʟᴏʀꜱ.

You'll want to present the closest thing to a blank canvas, so buyers can start envisioning their own style in your home. If your budget is limited, focus on the main areas such as the kitchen, family room, and master bedroom.

5. ᴅᴇᴄʟᴜᴛᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴅᴇᴘᴇʀꜱᴏɴᴀʟɪᴢᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʜᴏᴍᴇ. 

This is one of the most important steps in preparing to sell your home, and goes hand-in-hand with home staging. It's all about neutralizing, or removing your personal taste from your home decor so that buyers can envision themselves living in your home.

Selling a home is exciting, but it can also be stressful, which is why hiring the right agent is crucial.

Have questions about where to start? Send me a message— I would love to help!

Posted in Selling Tips
Feb. 17, 2022

How to Win a Bidding War

bidding war

After months of searching, you’ve finally found your dream home. You’re financially secure and ready to take the next step in buying a house. But if you’re searching for a home in a seller’s market, there’s one thing standing between you and the home of your dreams: other buyers.  

Bidding wars are the hallmark of a seller’s market. You may find that your perfect home is perfect for several others. We’ll look at a few strategies you can use in a bidding war to avoid heartbreak and ensure victory.

Offer a Cash Deal

“Cash is King” is a common real estate expression and for good reason. If you don’t need to apply for a mortgage, your offer will usually jump to the top of the pile. The seller doesn’t need to worry about you running into problems with financing. But don’t worry. You may be able to use delayed financing after you close on the sale to help you regain access to the cash you have in the home.

A cash sale saves time for everyone and can close much sooner because there’s no underwriting process to wait on. If the seller wants to sell their home as soon as possible, a cash offer is very powerful.

Make The Highest Offer

Traditionally, the best way to win a bidding war is to offer the most money. Although the highest offer isn’t always the one that the seller chooses, money does talk.

Under no circumstances should you throw caution to the wind and ignore your budget. Bidding wars can get emotional, but you must be able to walk away, secure in the knowledge that a home that fits your budget awaits.

How can you tell how much competition you have on a home? Ask your real estate agent to get in contact with the seller’s listing agent, who should have some key insights. Your real estate agent can also use local market data to help you strike the perfect balance between saving money and securing your home.

Have Your Preapproval Letter In Hand

Get preapproved for a mortgage before you start shopping for a home. If you’ve heard about the prequalification process, note that the prequalification is an estimate of the loan amount based on verbal confirmation of your income and other details.

A preapproval letter, on the other hand, offers a precise mortgage amount based on your W-2s, bank statements, credit score and more official documentation. 

A preapproval letter tells the seller that you’re serious about buying their home. It also tells the seller that you won’t run into trouble getting a mortgage to buy the property. It’s always possible that if you don’t have preapproval, a seller could skip over your offer entirely.

Waive the Inspection Contingencies

Most offer letters include a contingency that says you can cancel the sale if a home inspection reveals major problems with the property. Although you can make your offer stronger by agreeing to skip the inspection contingency, you’ll be taking an enormous risk.

Unless you know for a fact that the property has been properly maintained – which might be the case if you’re buying from a family member or close friend – you might be purchasing a house whose great looks hide some urgent and expensive repairs. 

But if you feel able to shoulder the potential risk and want to make as clean of an offer as possible, do a thorough walkthrough of the home. Here are some things to mark off your walkthrough checklist before submitting your offer:

  • All lights and outlets in each room work
  • Toilets, showers and faucets aren’t leaking or emitting foul odors
  • All home appliances are functioning as they should
  • Gutters are clean, secure and directing water away from the home
  • Garage door closes and opens correctly
  • Home security system arms and disarms as it should
  • No cracks or other issues with the foundation

You can also ask the homeowner for repair and home improvement records, as well as any warranties for work completed. These documents will give you a closer look at the condition of the home and how well the owners have been taking care of it.

Drop Other Contingencies

Sellers don’t want their homes to sit on the market forever. They also don’t want to have to relist their home because a contingency resulted in the sale falling through. You can make your offer stronger by dropping your contingencies. Contingencies are specific conditions that must be met before the sale can be completed.

For example, you might have a contingency in your offer letter that says the home must meet or exceed your offered price during the appraisal. This is because mortgage companies won’t lend out more money than the home is worth. You’ll still need the appraisal, because your lender requires it.

By dropping the contingency, you’re telling the seller that you’re willing and able to pay an additional amount in cash at closing if the home appraises for less than the agreed-upon purchase price.

For example, you may be willing to pay up to $5,000 extra at closing to make up for the low appraisal. This allows you to fill the gap between the appraised value and the purchase price.

But be careful. You still need to have enough cash to cover your down payment and closing costs. With an appraisal shortfall, you’ll need to come up with that money.

Otherwise, you’ll end up either having to walk away without your earnest money, or putting less down on the house, which might force you into buying private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Be Available

The final key to remaining competitive on a home sale is to keep yourself available. Leave your information with the seller and invite them to contact you or your agent with any questions about your offer.

Respond to any inquiries quickly and have your real estate agent regularly check in with the listing agent to monitor the seller’s progress. Be as flexible as possible and stay on the seller’s radar. When they decide, you’ll want to be the first to know.

How To Beat A Contingent Offer

What if your dream home’s seller accepts a contingent offer from another buyer? Likely, it means it’s time to move on, but if your heart is set on a property, there are some things you can try. Who knows? You may get lucky. 

Find Out if The Sellers Are Accepting Backup Offers

First, have your real estate agent find out if the seller is still accepting offers while the sale is pending, and if they included a kick-out clause in the sales contract. A kick-out clause allows a seller to continue accepting offers while the potential buyer awaits the home inspection, appraisal or financing needed to close. 

If the seller gets a better offer, and depending on how it’s structured, the kick-out clause allows them to notify the first potential buyer and encourage them to do one of the following:

  • Match the competing offer or exceed it (the escalation clause)
  • Agree to waive all contingencies in the contract
  • Agree to waive some contingencies

If there is no kick-out clause, all you can do is have your real estate agent keep an eye on the pending sales process. It’s possible that buyers will back out after reading the home inspection report or they won’t be able to get the financing they need.

If your need for a new home isn’t urgent, and you love that house, you could wait it out. Just know that most sales contracts successfully close. 

Should the sale fall through, be ready to act and make an offer that matches or exceeds the last offer. Otherwise, the sellers may decide to simply put the home back on the market.

What To Include in Your Backup Offer

If you are serious about making a backup offer, make it worth the sellers’ time and effort to invoke the kick-out clause. Make the offer price tantalizing, the earnest check large and the contract as contingent free as possible. 

Keep in mind that while you are awaiting a resolution between the sellers and the first potential buyers, you will not be able to make an offer on another home. If you are in the middle of house hunting in a competitive market, this may cause you to miss another great opportunity.

Posted in Buying Tips