You received the offer. Here is what you should do.
Read over the offer
- Have your agent email you the offer. Print it out if necessary. Write down your questions of what you do not understand. Call your agent and ask any question you do not know!
- Is the offer price fair? You may have had a different number in mind. Review recent sold homes if you thing the offer prices is off. Where should the price be according to the comps and how does it compare to your desired price. What are the logical negotiation steps to reach your pricing goal?
- What term and contingencies has the buyer included in their offer? What are the downsides or issues to you as a seller?
- What type of loan, closing date, do they want a home warranty or for you to pay some of the closing cost? These are all items that may be in the purchase agreement.
Estimate your costs
- Ask your agent to do an “Estimated Net Proceeds” worksheet so you can understand what you will net and what your estimated selling costs will be.
- Your actual tax prorations, and association costs (if you have a home owners association) will be pro-rated by the escrow company based on the exact closing date.
- Yes, sometimes the offer is probably going to be lower than you expected. Don't be offended. Keep your emotions in check. Remember it is a business deal. You both want the best deal.
- Every buyer wants to negotiate a better deal, and you won’t know what their real motivations are until you negotiate. Try to negotiate to get the best deal possible.
- Remember, if you were a buyer, you’d probably try some of the same negotiation tactics.
Keep your eye on the prize
- I have seen offers fall apart over the simplest things. A GFI plug, a bad water heater, and $350. Remember your goal is to get your home sold.
- If you can’t put an offer together with this buyer, what are your alternatives? How long before the next offer comes along? Understanding the current market conditions is critical to good decision making.
- Keep the Negotiations rolling
One of the keys to getting the deal done is to try to make counter offers and decisions as quick as possible. When buyers and sellers have to sit and wait for a decision from the other party. Their minds come up with all sorts of reasons why it is taking so long. Emotions take over and people get angry or upset at the other party over crazy notions. I have people come up with some crazy stuff that they just thought of and have not proof about the buyer. I sometimes shake my head and wonder how the seller ever came up with it. Emotions have taken over and it is much harder to reach an agreement when that happens. So try to counter quickly because the other party will usually try to respond quickly too.