You’ve worked hard to get your home ready for sale and to price it properly. With any luck, offers will come quickly. You’ll need to review each carefully to determine its strengths and drawbacks and pick one to accept. Here’s a plan for evaluating offers.
1. Understand the process.
All offers are negotiable. When you receive an offer, you can accept it, reject it, or respond by asking that terms be modified, which is called making a counteroffer.
2. Set baselines.
Decide in advance what terms are most important to you. For instance, if price is most important, you may need to be flexible on your closing date. Or if you want certainty that the transaction won’t fall apart because the buyer can’t get a mortgage, require a prequalified or cash buyer.
3. Create an offer review process.
If you think your home will receive multiple offers, work with your agent to establish a time frame during which buyers must submit offers. That gives your agent time to market your home to as many potential buyers as possible, and you time to review all the offers you receive.
4. Don’t take offers personally.
Selling your home can be emotional. But it’s simply a business transaction, and you should treat it that way.
5. Review every term.
Carefully evaluate all the terms of each offer. Price is important, but so are other terms. Is the earnest money amount sufficient? Have the buyers attached a prequalification letter, showing they’ve been approved for financing? Are they asking you to cover some of their closing costs? Is the offer subject to other contingencies? With each factor, ask yourself: Is this a deal breaker, or can I compromise to achieve my ultimate goal of closing the sale?
6. Be creative.
If you’ve received an unacceptable offer through your agent, ask questions to determine how your needs and theirs can be met. The key to successfully negotiating the sale is to remain flexible.
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