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We're going back on the market today, and stating that under no circumstances will we follow-up on offers until Monday.

Excellent. Anecdotes, also from the D.C. area:

Last fall I visited a Sunday Open House in my neighborhood that struck me as being under-priced at $890k. Ah, but the decision had been made to review offers Monday at 7 pm. Apparently the intent was to trigger a bidding war. Sure enough, it sold over asking, although not by much:

The advantage of setting a future date to review "offers" in order to get multiple offers is obviously to be able to select the strongest offer, and by "strongest" that might not be the one with the highest dollar bid. Your Realtor should be able to find out the buyers' situations and assess to some extent the likelihood of their going forward. For example, even if there's no "sell my own house first" contingency, a buyer in an apartment with a large down payment will be in a stronger position than one with a house who would need to get a bridge loan.

Last time I sold a house, the 2 couples bidding were (1) a low-bidding couple in an apartment whose parents liked the house and were providing the down payment, and (2) a full-price couple with a smaller house who claimed they'd be able to sell it for enough to buy our house, but who hadn't even put it on the market yet.

We countered the first couple's bid. Figured that if they got all first-time-buyer panicky, their parents would talk sense to them. Not sure if that in fact is what happened, but despite being unhappy at times they did go to closing.

This "take it off the market and you can back out later" advice is underhanded, but it is also just a small step from the classic strategy of encouraging cold-feet buyers with "Go ahead and make an offer; if something bad turns up during inspection you can back out then," with the understanding that in fact the Realtors will work together to ensure the buyer won't in fact back out.

Good luck!
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