Real estate consumers take gamble with pre-emptive offers

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Recently, a home seller who lived in the Montclair area of Oakland, Calif., was getting his home ready to go on the market. In the process, his dog ran away. While searching for the dog, he met a neighbor and told him that his home would be for sale shortly. The neighbor told friends about the upcoming listing. The friends had recently sold their home and were having a hard time finding a suitable home to buy. Delighted to have the tip, they contacted the seller who agreed to show them the house before it hit the open market. It was love at first sight. In order to avoid competition from other buyers, they made a pre-emptive offer. Pre-emptive offers have become popular in low-inventory markets where multiple-offer competitions are common. A pre-emptive offer is one that is made early – either before a property is on the market or before the date the sellers have set to accept offers. HOUSE HUNTING TIP: A pre-emptive offer poses a dilemma for sellers. If they accept the offer,...