Nov 10, 2020 - 0 Comments - Negotiating, Uncategorized -

Negotiating: Strategic Advantages of Backup Offers for Commercial Property Buyers

I regularly am in situations where a buyer is interested in some commercial property that is already under contract. It is the exception where I don’t recommend submitting a backup offer. There are two principal advantages to a buyer of submitting a backup offer in an effort to put a backup contract in place. Both are strategic advantages.

“This is the bottom line; win the game.” 

~Joe Namath

First, if the current active contract buyer does not close, then a backup contract becomes the active contract, knocking out competitive buyers before they have a chance to get started. The more sought after a property is, the more significantly this benefit is, but it is always a benefit as it only takes one buyer to knock you out of the process. Oh, by the way, that could be a backup offer being submitting while you’re thinking about it. Just saying…

Second, and I think more powerfully, a backup contract in place increases the likelihood of a property again becoming available as it tends to make a seller less likely to grant consideration or additional due diligence time, if asked.

Think about it. Imagine a buyer has been under contract with plenty of time for due diligence. The buyer asks for an extension of due diligence. If the seller only has people saying they’re interested – talk is cheap – then he/she might or might not grant the extension. If a firm backup offer is in hand, that same seller is much less likely to grant the extension.

Allow me to go one better, strategically. A backup buyer that really wants a property can make a hard offer, i.e. an offer with a non-refundable deposit or at least with some portion non-refundable. Why? A seller in a due diligence period will consider that differently than an offer with a new due diligence period. If you want to play to win, this is your best shot.