Placing a bid on a home is exciting, but it doesn’t guarantee that the place is going to be yours. Depending on the market in the area, there may be plenty of people placing bids on a particularly peachy piece of property. If your bid isn’t accepted, though, don’t fret – all is not lost!

Just because someone’s bid was accepted over yours doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll end up with the house. Deals fall through all the time. That being the case, let the seller know you’d like your offer to remain on the table as a backup; they may just take you up on it. The reason for this is that once they accept an offer, they’re going to start looking to move. If they have their new home already selected, they may begin moving things over right away. If the deal falls through, the seller is still going to be in “moving mode” and is far more likely to accept the next best offer than to hold out for a better one.

Also, the original buyer may rescind their offer for a number or reasons. The most common one is because that, after the home was inspected, additional issues came up that soured the buyer’s taste in the home. These issues aren’t necessarily catastrophic, and they don’t mean a great deal of work needs to be done on the home. Some folks just like to move into a home without having to make any upgrades or repairs, and that’s fine.

If you do choose to keep your offer on the table as a backup, make sure you set a time limit for when the offer expires. If the original deal falls through a month after you’ve purchased another home, you could be in for a huge headache when the seller comes a calling. Also, ask if you can include a first-right-of-refusal clause in your backup offer. This will allow you to stay first in line if the deal falls through, but it doesn’t obligate you to purchase the home if you’ve changed your mind.

Whatever you do, make sure you get all of the terms of your backup offer in writing. You’ll want to ensure you have a record of their agreement to the terms, as well as their agreement to sell to you within a certain frame of time.

Placing a backup offer on a home doesn’t always work out, but if you’re a serious buyer and you’re really in love with a home, asking to place one certainly won’t hurt. You never know, you may just end up with the home.