Ask the Egghead: I’ve got a strong offer from a buyer. Should I cancel my open house?

Dear Egghead: My house has been on the market for a few days, and I’ve already received a strong offer. Should I cancel the open house scheduled for this weekend?

Answer: Cancel your open house? My short answer is no.

My long answer: no, no, no.

How strong is this offer? All cash at a 10 percent premium over your asking price? If not, read on.

Ultimately, it’s up to you, the seller, it’s not your agent’s call. Keep in mind, though, that multiple “strong” offers can unravel quickly for a variety of reasons. If the offer is that strong, it will withstand an open house. If that buyer is as determined as you believe, they are not going to walk because your agent follows through on an open house this weekend.

Cash offers trump the usual contingencies that can muck up a contract — a lender balks, an underwriter is stubborn, an inspector makes a mountain out of a molehill, maybe the property won’t appraise for the expected price.

Your agent has already scheduled and marketed the open house. If the house is unoccupied, the agent may have already staged the house with model furniture. You’ll likely be paying for all this at closing time, and by cancelling the open house, you’re guaranteeing you’ll reap nothing from that time, effort, and expense.

Let’s look at this from the other side. It’s possible that a new buyer will result from the open house with an even stronger offer. You might receive multiple backup offers from the open house, making your situation that much stronger.

Last but not least, your agent has their reputation to think about. Cancelling the open house will make them look unprofessional and perhaps even unethical to people who might otherwise become the agent’s future clients. Your agent has taken an oath of loyalty to you, and in this case, I believe loyalty is a two-way street, especially when you have virtually nothing to lose.

If your agent indicates in the open house listing that offers have already been received and will be reviewed the following Monday morning, this is virtually a no-lose scenario for you. Stay the course.

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