How do you handle a “Sealed Bid” Scenario?


When there is a lot of interest in a property it is not uncommon for the sales agent to call for “best and final” offers.  This is usually a “Sealed Bid” scenario.   The downside is that it is “sudden death”, the upside is that offers don’t get shopped around to all buyers.

It’s hard going in blind, so here are a couple of pointers to help:

Ask the agent the following:

  1. What sort of price have buyers been indicating and where do you need to be in order to buy it?  The agent may not answer but he/she might.  In the absence of guidance you will need to rely solely on your own price assessment.
  2. What is their process after their offer deadline?  Do they expect the offers to be in writing?  Or on a signed contract? If they are accepting written offers by the deadline, how long do you have before they expect a signed contract from the highest bidder?
  3. Will they sell with a Cooling Off Period?  Or do they expect the contract to have a 66W Certificate attached?  This is a certificate your solicitor would sign that waives the Cooling Off Period.

Now, ask yourself the following:

  1. Are you ready to purchase the property unconditionally?
  2. Check in with your solicitor on this but your finance needs to be confirmed, your contract reviewed and a strata report or building/pest inspection completed before you sign on the dotted line.  Being able  to do this always makes an offer stronger.
  3. What is your walk away price?  You must ask yourself would I kick myself is someone paid $X?  Or $X+10K for instance?  It’s important to decide what is your absolute maximum (don’t forget what you believe it’s worth based on your research) and be prepared to make that your offer.  I would go so far as to add $500 or $750 onto that figure just in case somebody else has the same upper limit.

Then if somebody pays more, you’ll take comfort knowing that you believe that they paid too much.

Further reading:

Don’t make offers until you are ready to sign a contract of sale

Emotional property buying mistakes to avoid

First published:  11th June, 2015


Please note:

Good Deeds buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.

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