Los Altos Real Estate Blog


Should I make a pre-emptive offer on a house in Palo Alto, Cupertino, etc?

The local real estate market is now a seller's market, especially for homes in the low-end or median price ranges in many towns.  The hottest markets such as Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Cupertino routinely see homes sell with multiple offers.  Once in a while you'll see a home that goes on the market and sells on Day 0 or within 1-2 days of going on the MLS.  As a buyer, this is frustrating because you didn't get a fair shot at seeing the home to make an offer.  How did it sell so fast?

A Pre-Emptive Offer

A pre-emptive offer is made before the official offer date set by the seller and their agent.  It's usually after the first weekend of open houses on the following Tuesday or Wednesday.  If you write an offer the Friday before the open houses or over the weekend, unsolicited, then it's considered a pre-emptive offer.

Is A Pre-Emptive Offer Good?

Writing an unsolicited pre-emptive offer can backfire if the seller is expecting to see multiple offers and the "frenzy" of the current market.  Your offer undermines that and could be viewed negatively.  However, if you write a pre-emptive offer that meets the anticipated goals of the multiple-offer frenzy they expect, you just might get it.

How Do I Write A Pre-Emptive Offer?

Talk to your agent (me) and I'll talk to the listing agent about the seller's expectations and if they'll take a pre-emptive offer.  If they will take an offer, we'll talk about price and terms that would be appealing.  There is negotiation and diplomacy in getting this done right so everyone walks away feeling good about the transaction.  It's NOT always about price alone.

The success of pre-emptive offers in Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Cupertino is rare but it does happen.  If you're ready and able to move quickly, it could pay off and mean less stress for both you and the seller.  If you're considering buying a home in any of these towns, call me to discuss your needs and the best approach to upcoming inventory.

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 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022



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Comment balloon 8 commentsBryan Robertson • April 26 2012 10:08AM
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