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What Does Highest and Best Offer Mean?

What is a highest and best offer? When a seller receives multiple offers on their property usually they will ask all interested buyers to submit a final offer by a certain time and date. The idea is that this is the highest amount the buyer is willing to p ay with the best terms possible. Usually there is no additional negotiation other than perhaps asking the buyer to change a closing date so interested buyers should offer the maximum amount of money they are willing to pay for the property.

How do you put together the highest and best offer? There is a lot more than just purchase price in a highest and best offer. Here are some other items you need to consider when putting together this offer as well as strategies to help you win in a highest and best offer situation:

1. Get your real estate team (your Realtor and mortgage lender) on the same page to ensure a smooth transaction, particularly your lender. You don’t want to find out that you can’t qualify for the amount of money you’re offering if you go above the list price.
2. Mortgage pre-approval (if applicable): if you’re using a mortgage, make sure you have an up-to-date pre-approval which is submitted with your offer. Also, you need to be comfortable with the offer you’re putting in.
3. Flexibility: if possible, try to have a short closing day (45 days with a mortgage and 21 days with cash) unless the sellers have a specific closing date in mind and limit your contingencies (ie: if you have a house to sell prior to this purchase). The cleaner the offer, the higher your chance of having your offer accepted.
4. Don’t be too picky: sellers want to work with an easy buyer. Talk with your Realtor and come up with reasonable requests. For instance, we don’t suggest asking for a home warranty if you’re in a multiple offer situation.
5. Consider an As Is offer: an As Is offer means you do an inspection, but won’t ask the sellers to make any repairs. You are agreeing to buy the property As Is. After the inspection you can still choose to walk away if you aren’t comfortable with the inspection results, but you won’t ask the sellers to fix anything if you choose to move forward with the purchase.
6. Have your lender call the seller’s Realtor and assure them that you are a strong buyer and won’t have any issues qualifying for the loan.
7.Write a seller love letter telling the seller about yourself and why this is the perfect home for you.
8.Consider a price escalation rider.

Why do sellers ask for the highest and best offer? It gives all bidders and equal opportunity to have their offer considered and it shows how committed a buyer really is.

Questions? Contact me at or 717.963.0016.

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Gina Casner

In 2016, I began my tenure in real estate as a licensed Executive Assistant for a leading real estate training coach and subsequently for high-producing real estate teams. I very quickly fell in love with real estate and by 2019, I transitioned into personally helping clients turn their dreams into keys. After dozens of transactions, I have been dubbed the “unicorn hunter,” finding out-of-the-box solutions for clients looking for a home with unique requirements. In addition to managing my real estate practice, I am involved in providing community education on responsible home ownership through my exclusive Path to Home Ownership workshop series. I also am the founder of Chronically Strong, an organization that promotes mental health awareness and suicide prevention in our local communities. I take a holistic and individualized approach to real estate. Buying or selling a home in Central PA can be complex, sophisticated and often a deeply personal endeavor. Your experience should mimic the high level of customer service all of my clients have, while being very specific to your own individual needs. I work with a team of experts to provide a full, complete experience that only a cohesive team can consistently provide. Working with us, you will be given personal attention in every aspect of your home buying and selling experience with the professionalism and consistency of a thoughtful business model. And yes, superior results will follow! On a personal note, I attribute my success not only to my passion for helping clients execute on their next “big move”, but also to my knowledge regarding the psychology of buying and selling. My clientele works in diverse industries with an emphasis on technology, finance, medicine, law, and business. My real estate practice has grown successfully and consistently thanks to the repeat business of happy clients and their introductions to friends, family and neighbors. This track record is only possible because we deliver both results AND an enjoyable experience. Growing up, my family moved frequently all across the continental U.S., but you will hear me say that I am from California because that is the longest place that I lived during my formative years. Moving became a way of life for my family and each place I lived became a part of my story. It taught me that our home truly is the foundation of everything in our lives, and it is this belief that compels me to work hard for my clients when they are buying or selling their home. In many ways, our home becomes a part of our identity, an identity and memory that should be honored. I have been accused of being tenacious and super honest. I like to win (for my clients) but do so with a calm demeanor and a smile. I live in a raised ranch home in Lower Paxton Township with my main squeeze, my teenage son, and our very spoiled dog, Ginger. I have mad faith, and truly believe that each and every one of us is capable of great things. I graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors’ in Sociology. There is a running joke in my family that every day I go to real estate school because every day my clients teach me something new. I continually invest time, money and thought into the latest sales, marketing and negotiation techniques. Why? Because I believe that you deserve to have the best working for you. I want to live life on my own terms, and am committed to helping you do the same. Would you like to work together? Please reach out. I look forward to hearing from you! Gina

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