Home Buyer ResourcesHome Seller ResourcesHomeowner Resources March 6, 2022

4 Reasons the Highest Offer Didn’t Win the House

You have gone through the process of pre-approval, and you have searched to find the perfect home. You love this home, so you decide to put in an offer above the asking price. Your realtor sends your offer to the listing agent, and you wait patiently for a response. Finally, after the seller has reviewed all offers you receive a response… your offer wasn’t accepted. Unfortunately, this is an unfortunate reality for many buyers in today’s competitive real estate market. After some time and many showings, it can be frustrating when a competitive offer is not accepted. In this blog, we discuss some reasons why the highest offer, may not always be the best offer when competing in a multiple offer situation.


Beyond the offer, there are factors within the transaction that can be more or less beneficial for the seller, and one of these factors being financing. The most favorable situation for a seller is if you are self-financed, aka paying CASH. Financing a home through a lending institution involves an appraisal process, and this process has the potential to increase the closing timeline to accommodate scheduling/paperwork. Additionally, it reduces the chances of complications if the home does not appraise. Thus, if you choose to finance yourself, the seller can potentially speed up and simplify their transaction.

Loan Type

If paying cash is not an option, the type of loan you choose can also make a difference. While every buyer’s situation is different, and one loan may be more beneficial for your specific situation, this is also true for the seller. For instance, VA & FHA loan types offer affordable down payment options for buyers, but they also have additional requirements for the home that the seller must meet before selling. Since conventional loans require a higher down payment, they do not have the same level of requirements for loan approval – thus making it easier for a seller to get to the closing table.

Concessions and Contingencies

In addition to financing, another factor that can decrease the desirability of your offer is concessions and contingencies. Closing costs are processing fees that are paid at the time of closing. In a buyer market, buyers will often ask the seller to pay certain closing costs or a portion of the closing costs. When buying in a seller market, as in our current market, there are more buyers than available homes, and it is more likely that the seller will see multiple offers. Asking for concessions can make you less competitive against these other offers. Keep this in mind as you save for your down payment to avoid any surprises or delays.

On a similar note, contingencies, or conditions that must be met for the contract to become binding can have a similar effect when comparing your offer with other offers. Contingencies can include details about time-frame (inspection period), move-in date, short appraisal, financing, or requirements for the sale of existing property. While contingencies can help to eliminate grey areas in the contract, we recommend that you consider the current market and consult with your real estate agent on what concessions make sense for the current market.


Evident by the above considerations, timing is critical for sellers. One thing that is not as apparent but can affect the timeline is an out-of-state or online lender. In a real estate contract, the buyer and seller must conform to specific deadlines, and if all Is are not dotted, a Ts crossed, your closing has the potential to be delayed. In addition to state regulations, each board has different rules and regulations that affect the real estate transaction, like contracts. A local lender is more likely to be attuned to the legal nuances of the state and city. Ask any realtor, and you will hear that having someone local makes the transition run more smoothly.

At the end of the day, there are several variables in a contract that can affect its acceptance and what’s competitive can differ depending on the current market conditions.  We recommend working with a knowledgable real estate professional to increase your chances of winning the house!