9 Tips for Home Sellers: What You Should Know to Land a Buyer’s Offer

“What do I do when I get an Offer?”
– That is a common question from sellers.

If the offer is at or above asking price the answer may be easy. But remember money is not the only consideration. You may prefer a lower offer with better financing or a stronger buyer or a more convenient settlement date. When all factors are favorable, and the price is right—set the contract and reel your buyer in quickly. 

Typically with my assistance, you will negotiate. It is an art (somewhat like fishing), where you may give and take over price, terms special conditions, or closing costs. Even carry back financing, dates of possession, or included personal property may come into play. 

Here are some tips to help you throughout the process: 

Aim for a Sale

Remember, while your aim is to get as much as you can for your home, the buyer’s aim is to find your lowest acceptable price. In the end, however, you’re both angling for the same catch: a sale on the best possible terms for both of you. 

Evaluate the Buyer

Find out as much as you can about whether the buyer can afford to purchase your house. You’ll gain peace of mind knowing your buyer is qualified to pay the price you agree upon. Buyers who are ‘prequalified’ have been told by a lender how large a mortgage they are likely to qualify for, while buyers who are ‘preapproved’ have a tentative loan commitment from a lender. 

Stay Cool

Keep communications on an agreeable level. At all stages of negotiation, be as flexible as possible. Don’t lose your cool—even if the buyer gets tense—or you might lose your sale.

Ask Questions

When offers come in they may contain complicated terminology, sometimes even 2 or 3 addenda. They should be carefully considered in person either at my real estate office or in the quiet of your own home. I will help you to understand all of the ramifications.

Consider all Offers

Remember, you have 3 basic choices: you can accept the offer, reject it, or counter offer with an alternative that suits you. Give consideration to every offer, even if it’s lower then your asking price. Outright rejection is seldom wise unless it is so ridiculous you know the buyer is simply fishing. With my counsel, you might make a counter offer close to your asking price. That seems fair for your buyers and lets then know, while you are not inflexible, neither are you so anxious to sell you’ll take anything. 

Respond Quickly

When buyers make an offer, they are in the mood to buy. But moods change. Be sure to respond as soon as possible, even with a counter offer. Buyers are known to get ‘buyers remorse’ in the middle of the night. Don’t delay responding if you really want that sale now. Keep mum, of course, about the minimum price you’d accept, but keep the dialogue going. It is not unusual to exchange 2 or 3 counter offers. Remember, I am professionally trained to find a meeting of the minds where everyone wins.

Rely on your Agent

Rely on me to keep negotiations moving forward. Realize agents are required by law to bring you any offer – no matter how low. Knowing what you want from the sale, I am in a unique position to help negotiations along. By relaying your counter offers, I can depersonalize the delicate money discussions and keep negotiations flowing toward eventual agreement. And remember it is to our financial benefit to see you get the highest price the buyer is able to pay. 

Be Patient

Exercise confidence and patience as the buyer weights the counter offers. Be forthcoming with all information requested and call attention to all the areas of agreement. Be positive. When disagreements occur, iron out all the small negotiating areas before getting down to any real stumbling block later when most items are agreed.

Consider Sweeteners

As the bidding gets close to your acceptable price, you might offer some extras – ‘sweeteners’ – to make a higher price acceptable to the buyer: the inclusion in the sale of draperies, lawn furniture, bbq grill – whatever you don’t mind giving up. If you are in a position to offer financial support, now is the time to offer to negotiate points or hold a second mortgage to help sell your home.

Take Care with Contingencies

In drawing up your contract, consider requests for contingencies carefully. Contingencies – stipulations such as obtaining financing or home inspections – are typically used to smooth acceptance of a contract without delaying the buying decision. Each contingency must be satisfied before the sale is final and should include a time limit for work to be completed.               

When you’ve landed your buyer, your signed acceptance of a written offer becomes your sales contract. Except for removing any contingencies, this document is the binding basis for the sale.

Ready to sell your home? Call Steve today to get the process started: 760.476.9560