Blog Stories What is a back-up offer?

What is a back-up offer?

By Andee Zeigler, March 19, 2019

Second place is never the goal, especially when submitting an offer on a home that your client loves. When I write an offer and my clients don’t “win” it I always inquire about being in back-up position. So what does that mean?

When a seller selects an offer and the property is pending that doesn’t mean it is going to close. There are a variety of situations in which a buyer will terminate and often times it has nothing to do with the condition of the property. If you are a buyer in back-up position and the first position buyer terminates you are then moved into first position. This means that the property doesn’t go back on market, it is first offered to you. It also means that your timeline for opening escrow, inspections etc. start on the date that you mutually agree to move into first position.

At least once a year I have a buyer move from back-up to first position and they have always closed. If I have a buyer in back-up I ask the listing agent to keep me notified of the buyers inspection timeline and I check in mid inspection period. This particular property had a buyer terminate on the final day of inspections with no explanation, they simply sent a termination agreement. We entered the inspection period cautiously optimistic. I’ll be honest, this was one of the ugliest inspections I have seen, an overwhelming number of costly concerns. We took time to gather bids, second opinions, third opinions and had long talks about the reality of moving forward. It would have been easy to walk, but why not shoot for the moon?! We wrote a very thorough repair addendum with some seriously big asks. The seller was gracious and incredibly responsive, she knew where she stood and she wanted this house to sell and she wanted to do it right. My buyer received significant credits and repairs and we closed just a week over our originally agreed close date!

Two lessons here, always ask to be in back-up and take the time to gather a thorough presentation for big asks during the inspection period, you just never know!


Andee Zeigler

Principal Broker

I fell in love with Portland and the beauty of the homes and neighborhoods long before I moved here. I have called Portland home for nearly 20 years and can't imagine raising my babies anywhere else. I have been a Realtor for over a decade and still wake up everyday delighted that I truly love what I do and that it rarely feels like work. I love helping people find their home sweet home, be it an investment that pencils out better than expected, holding the hand of a first time home buyer or guiding a nervous seller through the process of leaving a home they once loved. I know Portland like the back of my hand and have a wealth of knowledge about our unique vintage homes and rapidly growing inventory of new construction. I have loved up many homes over the years, from a total restoration of a 1894 Victorian farmhouse to a full remodel of 1942 ranch and several in between. I enjoy educating my clients on the process, helping them keep perspective along the way and I am confident in my fierce negotiating skills. Over the years many of my clients have become my friends and I am grateful for the joy this process brings. When I am not scouring the new listings, meeting clients for pie or reading up on all things real estate, I am busy filling my days with goodness. I currently live in my dream home in St. Johns with my husband and 3 kiddos. I am an avid gardener, growing over 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables and countless plants and flowers. When I am feeling stress I find my peace in the kitchen perfecting some baked treat or trying my hand at a new savory dish. I graduated with an art degree and find great joy in painting and creating, there is almost always some art project happening at the kitchen island. I am a dedicated traveler and have made exploring the world with my babies a priority. When we aren't traveling internationally we explore our corner of the world in our Vanagon, I am almost always up for a quick forest getaway. I am in constant awe of the beauty of the PNW and feel to grateful that this is my home sweet home.
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