Realtor-Speak for “Cut to the Chase”

Once upon a time, “highest and best offer” meant that everyone interested in a particular property — often a foreclosure — had to “cut to the chase” and (re)submit their highest offer, combined with their best terms (closing date, financing terms, inspection contingency, etc.).

Then, the Seller would pick one.

The idea was that that was the most efficient way for the Seller to sort through a flurry of offers, and put the kibosh on multiple rounds (and the incentives for skulduggery that can go with, like sharing some bidders’ terms with other, favored bidders).

In practice, however, that’s not how “highest and best” worked, at least as practiced by many bank-Sellers.

Instead, after getting everyone to up their bid to their supposed maximum, they would once again invite everyone (or perhaps just the “semi-finalists”) to submit their “highest and best” offer.

Call it “highest and best, round 2” (sometimes followed by round 3 and 4).

Thanks, but no thanks.

In what I have to assume is a nod to such unsavory scenarios, I just saw the listing agent for a foreclosure I showed earlier this week put out an email asking for . . . ‘last and best offers.’

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

Leave a Reply