I Sold My House a Day After Showings Began. Here’s How I Chose the Winning Offer

published Jun 26, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
hanging over keys
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart

Our recent house-buying and house-selling adventure has been a wild ride. Given the recent housing market, it’s no surprise that finding a house to buy felt like the most white-knuckle part. Selling, on the other hand, put us in the driver’s seat. 

Any insight about why a seller might choose one offer over another can give buyers an edge in what continues to be a competitive housing landscape. Here’s the story of why we chose the offer we did when selling our house.

It was February 2022 and we all knew that interest rates were beginning to climb, which would ultimately reduce the pool of buyers who could afford a house of a certain amount. We wanted to take advantage of the quickly closing window before rates climbed too much. 

But there was a catch: We didn’t want to move until our kids were finished with their school year at the end of May. We’d do a lease back until we were ready to move. If we didn’t find any buyers amenable to this scenario, we’d pull the house off the market and try again closer to when we were actually leaving. 

Well, there were buyers amenable to the plan — more than one, in fact. The day showings began, we had two strong offers to choose between. It was the best case scenario for us because we could then go back to the potential buyers and ask for their “highest and best” offers. 

When it came to choosing which offer we accepted, in this case it wasn’t a matter of which offer was the highest. Interestingly, the bottom line of both offers was almost the same. What our choice came down to was the most straightforward, least complicated offer that was more convenient for us. 

The first offer was for our full asking price and a free lease back. The second was for over asking price, but the lease back amount per month that they were asking for canceled out the increase. The over-asking offer, which was financed, also posed the risk that the house wouldn’t appraise high enough. Because of this, it was more complicated and risky. So we went with the first offer. 

With offers this close to each other, it’s especially apparent how much of a difference even a tiny tweak to your offer makes. Putting yourself in the seller’s shoes and doing anything you can that makes things smoother for them can give any buyer that minuscule margin of difference that can make or break a sale that gets you home.