Best and Final Offer – the Lazy Move

What does it mean when a listing agent asks you to submit your “best and final offer”?

…Because what is your true best and final offer when you really want a property? …When this is your dream house? How do you calculate whether you are willing to pay an extra $100/month in mortgage payments above what you initially budgeted?

Generally, when a listing agent asks for “best and final,” they want buyers to show their cards because (a) they are lazy and don’t want to counter offers individually or (b) they expect to counter only the top two or three offers from that stack.

If you are selling a property, and your potential listing agent says they will ask for “best and final” in a multiple buyer situation, find another agent. You will never get the best price when an agent simply asks for best and final. No one submits their best and final offer until they are stretched with a true counter offer.

If you are a buyer and the listing agent asks for best and final, it’s hard to know whether they really mean it or not. In that case, the silver rule is to imagine what number you would be happy walking away from, and subtract $1 from that – that’s your top price.

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