Take the Money and Run

A60FF4C9-6A2D-42A6-9DF7-8123A07AD178I now have an answer to the age old question: is a bird in the hand really worth two in the bush?

You may remember that yesterday I wrote about how our realtor had scheduled to accept offers from prospective buyers for the house we’re selling in San Francisco at 9:00 this morning. But on Monday we received a “preemptive offer,” and it was a great offer — all cash, no contingencies, quick close date, and above asking price. My wife and I agonized over the offer. Should we take the money and run or should we wait until today, when formal offers were to be submitted, to see if an even better offer would materialize? We ultimately decided to wait.

When I woke up this morning I thought to myself, we had a bird in the hand; we must be crazy for holding out in the hope of getting a bigger, better bird from the bush. My wife thought we had made a huge mistake by not accepting that preemptive offer and that we would regret not taking it.

At around 10:30 this morning, after spending three hours on pins and needles and second guessing ourselves, our realtor emailed to us a spreadsheet detailing each of the eight formal offers she received, including a resubmission of that preemptive offer we received on Monday.

So, was the bird in the hand (as of Monday) worth more than the seven others that were in the bush? Well, in this particular case, no, it was not. Two of the offers we received this morning were even better offers. And one was all cash, no contingencies, a quick close (seven days from today), and five percent higher than the offer we received on Monday! Woo hoo!

In this instance, anyway, “good things come to those who wait” trumped “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”467EBAFD-8F74-450C-A067-95CAFA6FEA9E

A Bird in the Hand?

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that a month ago my wife and I moved out of our San Francisco home and into a new home in an East Bay suburb. And you may also know that we bought our East Bay home before selling our San Francisco home by taking out a bridge loan. The sooner we sell our San Francisco home, the sooner we can pay off the bridge loan and stop incurring the carrying costs on our old home.

The good news is that there’s been a lot of interest in our San Francisco home. Our realtor had set tomorrow morning at 9 am as the deadline to receive offers on that property and she is expecting from six to ten competitive offers.

But yesterday morning, she sent us an email telling us that we had received a surprise, “preemptive” offer. She wrote,

Good morning! An agent sent in an offer (terms are above asking, all cash, all contingencies waved, and a quick closing). They know we have an offer date Wednesday morning. Likely her client does not want to have to compete against others in what will be a competitive situation.

Are you fucking kidding me? Over asking price! All cash offer! No contingencies! Quick closing date! It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

And then our realtor wrote,

It’s in your best interest to do as we discussed and honor the offer date for the other agents. You will definitely have multiple offers to choose from and can negotiate with the highest competing offers to get more. Though this offer is strong, if the buyers are serious about your home, they will resubmit their offer on Wednesday at 9.

Yikes. All I could think of was my Fandango’s February Expressions prompt from last Friday, which was, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”A54E39A6-30B7-43E0-B083-A921AC11EA07Should we jump on this really strong offer (the bird in the hand)? Or should we, as our realtor suggested, take a chance and wait until tomorrow morning to see if any better offers (birds in the bush) come in? We have until 1 pm Pacific time today to decide.

Yeah, I know. This is a really good problem to have, right? But I’m agonizing over what to do. If we wait, and the people who made this amazing offer pull out and a better offer doesn’t materialize, I’ll be kicking myself for not having jumped on the bird in hand. But would we be making a costly error if we do accept the “preemptive” offer when other, even stronger offers might come in from the proverbial birds in the bush if we wait until the prescribed offer date and time? Gah!

What would you do?