Blog Stories Buyer in Back-up Wins Bridlemile Beauty

Buyer in Back-up Wins Bridlemile Beauty

By Mel Marzahl, May 13, 2019

The day I walked into this beautiful Bridlemile home, I knew it was meant for Jewelia. It checked all her boxes. The location is close to work, to family, and things to do. The home has all the features she was looking for too! It has a fireplace, sunken living room, three beds, two baths, and nice sized yard. I knew it wouldn’t be on the market long, so I texted her immediately to schedule a tour.

My instincts were right, Jewelia loved the home too. We made an offer right away and while it was a strong offer, we were outbid. The seller’s accepted the other one, but I explained to Jewelia what a Back-Up Offer is and we asked if we could be put in back-up position.

Jewelia asked me how often back-up offers move to first position and become accepted offers. Even though she loved the house, she didn’t want to get her hopes up in case the first sale went through. I can’t say for certain how many times this happens because the home never goes off the market and then back on, it’s hard to track that data. All I could do was share my personal experience.

What is a Back-Up Offer?

A back-up offer is when the seller has accepted an offer already, but is willing to put your offer in “back-up”. This means that if the first deal falls apart, then the seller will notify you, and your offer is immediately accepted, or put into “first position”. You can continue to look for homes in the meantime, and just request to be taken out of back-up if they find something else. 

This is also beneficial to the seller because the house never goes back on the market and they don’t have to worry about losing interested buyers who are now wondering if there was something wrong with the house. Houses that go pending, then go back on the market often don’t sell for as much as if the first sale had gone through.

Buying My Own Home

When I bought my first home, we made an offer that was rejected. Later, we saw the house come back on the market and made an offer again. This time we were put in back-up position. We thought there was no way we’d get it, but about a week later we learned ours was in first position! The house needed lots of work which is why it’s previous deals failed. But, our agent was a skilled negotiator and we bought it with some credits to put towards repairs. 

I hoped sharing my experience would help, and Jewelia was put in back-up. A week or so later, she learned that she was put in first position! She was thrilled, as was I, and we moved forward with the purchase. The home had been very well maintained and there was little to negotiate. The transaction moved forward smoothly, and Jewelia closed on her first home last week! She went from back-up to getting the keys in just over a month!

It all started when Jewelia walked into our Multnomah Village office one day. She was curious about buying her first home. She and I were connected and I am so grateful we were. Getting to know her and help her through this important purchase was a joy. I can’t wait to see how she makes this house her home. Congrats Jewelia!!!!

Jewelia gets the keys to her first home!

Mel Marzahl


A Pacific Northwest native, Mel became a passionate advocate for homeownership and investing in real estate after buying and selling her first home. What interested her most was realizing the significant financial impact the right investment property can make and learning how much having a home to truly call your own can improve your quality-of-life. Her specialties are working with first time home buyers and sellers but is fluent in all aspects of residential real estate. She is also a CNE, or Certified Negotiations Expert, and knows that with all the technology available to buyers and sellers, one of the best skills a realtor can have is knowing how to be a collaborative negotiator in order to get the best for their clients. After a decade long career working in operations and client service for creative companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mel earned her Oregon Broker’s license and made the move to real estate. Her philosophy in real estate is listen to her client’s needs and to treat everyone involved in a transaction with honesty and integrity. She loves getting to know her buyers and sellers, many of whom become friends, and ensuring they get the highest level of service she is known for. With a background in art and events, Mel brings creativity and an eye for detail to the table. She enjoys a remodel project, has a soft spot for Old Portland and 1900's craftsman houses, helping first time buyers, and educating her clients on the selling and purchasing process. She believes in staying up to date on Portland real estate trends, but also technology and tools available to agents. This gives her an edge when it comes to researching and marketing properties, as well as communicating with her clients. When Mel is not working in real estate she is volunteering with the Red Cross, gardening, hosting dinner parties, or relaxing at home on Bull Mountain with her husband, Mike, and two big dogs, Indy and Jackson.
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