The simple answer is: YES.
Backup offers are becoming more common and are often successful. In the last downturn of the market, buyers were having a difficult time in qualifying for mortgage loans. While not a huge number of deals fall apart, in difficult times they seem to double in quantity. In a short 3-month period that year, we completed 3 successful deals for our clients by making backup offers on homes that were conditionally sold.
In October of 2016, lending criteria for high-ratio mortgages substantially changed. As a result, consumers who would previously had no problem in qualifying for a mortgage loans are more frequently being turned down by lenders. As a result of this, their conditional purchases are collapsing. In March 2017, the mortgage insurance premium increased – again! The qualification rules will probably only get more difficult.
If you had an accepted offer that was a backup to the first offer and the first offer collapses for any reason, your already accepted offer now becomes active and is in play! This is a great strategy to get the home of your dreams!