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Seller Success Story: Less is More

Charles Cherney

Passionate about teaching after graduating from Harvard, I ultimately found myself drawn into the world of real estate in Cambridge and Somerville...

Passionate about teaching after graduating from Harvard, I ultimately found myself drawn into the world of real estate in Cambridge and Somerville...

Mar 30 3 minutes read

Lee and Daniel purchased their next home, and they moved into it.

That left selling their now empty Cambridge condo with me as their listing agent.

We formulated and executed a plan:
• Empty it out
• Clean it
• Paint it
• Wash the windows
• Clean it again
• Take professional photos
• Virtually stage it
• List it for sale
• Schedule open houses for Saturday and Sunday and Monday
• Establish a Tuesday bid deadline

After the first open house on Saturday, something unexpected happened.

A buyer's agent presented an offer on the property. And the offer expired at midnight.

When I list a property for sale, a Tuesday bid deadline is not uncommon. That being said, offers are presented to the Seller as they are received. And the Seller reserves the right to accept an offer at any time.

I got the offer over to my Sellers Lee and Daniel right away. They were excited to see it was over the asking price and without any contingencies. "What do we do now, Charles?" they asked.

What I did as the listing agent was alert all interested parties that an offer had come in and that time was of the essence.

As it happens, this led to another offer coming in from another buyer's agent. A higher offer. But an offer with contingencies.

I emailed the second offer to Lee and Daniel. Soon thereafter, my phone rang.

"What do we do now, Charles?" asked Lee and Daniel.

"Good question!" I said. "Let's walk through and discuss each of your options."

And for the next hour, we carefully considered their options:
1) Accept the first offer in without contingencies.
2) Accept the second higher offer in with contingencies.
3) Have a second round of bidding with the two offers in.
4) Wait for the Tuesday offer deadline so that other parties could see their condo and also bid on it.

"There's not a wrong answer here," I said to Lee and Daniel. "Rather, there is an answer that is likely the best answer for both of you."

After careful consideration together, Lee and Daniel decided that the best answer for them was #1 - accept the first offer in without contingencies. Although the offer amount was less than the second offer in, it was still way over asking – and way more than they ever thought they would sell for. And it was an offer without contingencies. Such an offer is very rare. Now that they had closed on their new home and had a new mortgage payment to make, they did not want to take any chances when afforded the opportunity not to take any.

"Charles," said Lee, "You've walked us through every option and helped us understand the best case and worst case scenarios in each instance. The first offer in is our first choice."

"This time, " added Daniel, "less is more."


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