In today’s buyers’ market, you as a seller may be especially excited when an offer comes in for your home. Yet in your celebration, don’t rush too quickly! Remember there’s much to consider before accepting a bid as offered.
To make the process a little better for you, we’ve created a list of eight steps to keep in mind during the process.
Start the process early. Have an inspection completed right when your house goes on the market, so that whatever needs fixing gets fixed. That way, when negotiating a deal, a potential buyer can’t use a valid problem against you.
Do your homework. If a potential buyer has a concern about your asking price being too high, and has data to back them up, be familiar with the circumstances that they are presenting. Find out what homes in the area are being offered for and being sold for.
Consider all your offers. If the offer is significantly lower than your asking price, ask why. If the buyers did research and found other homes in the area to be sold at a lower price, you have a particular topic to discuss and review. If they have no particular reason, explain to them why you priced your home as is.
Take your time. You are allowed two or three days to consider an offer, so take that time to think it through. What is your home worth? Will you be making a profit? How soon do you need to move? Consider your options before professionally replying with a written acceptance or a counteroffer.
Know the financial situation. Make sure that the potential buyer has been preapproved for a loan, if need be, and find out how much they plan on offering as a down payment. You’ll save yourself numerous headaches down the road if you settle financial questions early on.
Prepare a counteroffer if you are unwilling to accept the initial offer. Usually the first offer you receive is less than what the potential buyer is willing to spend, but the final negotiation might still end up below your asking price. Decide whether you’d rather wait for a higher offer and continue to pay your mortgages, or take a lower offer and pay fewer mortgages.
Be fair. If you are dealing with more than one offer at a time, make sure the buyers are aware of this. One, it might cause them to offer a higher bid. Two, it make them aware that even if they agree to your counteroffer, you can still deny it if you receive a higher bid.
Be obliging. This is, after all, still a buyers’ market. Be willing to throw in the washer/dryer set or a lawn mower; think creatively about incentives. Find out when the buyer needs to move. Discuss financial matters to find out when and how the buyer plans on paying. Be professional and calm through the entire process.
For more helpful tips on negotiating, read this past blog.