Congratulations! Getting an offer is a big step and means your asking price has attracted attention. All offers should be treasured and reviewed for hidden opportunities. When you get an offer, make sure you and/or your agent consider the following:
- Review the offer to assess the position of the buyer. When you understand what’s important to the buyer, you’ve won most of the battle, assuming “winning” means getting the highest price quickly.
- Did the buyer (or buyer’s agent) say they loved the showing? If so, that means leverage for you!
- How quickly was the offer submitted after the showing? Quick offers typically indicate a buyer willing to pay closer to full price.
- Is the buyer an investor? If so, some repairs may be waived but also expect a relatively low offer.
- Is the buyer involved with a job move with a large company? If so, the company is probably paying for some moving and/or housing expenses and there is a deadline to consider. Again, leverage for you.
- During the counter-offer process, determine what conditions are important to the buyer and keep those conditions in your counter offers to retain buyer interest (e.g., maybe a certain title company).
- Be willing to make some minor upgrades. What if a millennial or Gen Y-er wants a smart thermostat, which may cost $300 to install? Are you going to say, “No” if this will make your home sell in days?
- Do a little math. The clock is against you, so is it more sensible to accept the current offer or reject it and keep the home on the market a few more months, hoping to get a higher offer? For most sellers, an extra month on the market means extra utilities, mortgage interest, property taxes, and maintenance costs. Maybe that amounts to $2,000 per month of expenses you’ll never recover. So, in 3 months, you’ll need to find a buyer willing to pay an extra $6,000 just to come out even.
- Understand the key dates and your responsibilities in the accepted offer. Normally, the biggest responsibility for a seller is to make sure any repairs stated in offer agreement, or those stemming from a formal home inspection, are remedied in a certain way and by a certain date. Be sure to meet these conditions, or else the deal may fall through.