You have an offer

An offer from a buyer is the first way that they indicate interest in your home. Then the negotiations start with you returning a counteroffer —unless they are offering your asking price.

It is vital that you know the price you want. While also having two fallback positions in case you are unable to get the price you are aiming for. Only as a last resort would you settle with your minimum price.

It is important to relax and enjoy the process with an opened and clear mind.

What to have in place prior to receiving the offer:

  • Be clear on what is and is not negotiable.
  • Be clear on what is most valuable to you:
    – making the most money you can from the deal
    – the date you close
    – lots of time to move out
    – closing your new house before closing this house
  • Know your homes current listing price displayed on all online platforms and printed material.
  • Be clear on two fallback price positions before reaching the minimum price you will accept.

After receiving and thanking the buyer for their offer, you will need to lead proceedings confidently with the following questions.

  • Price they are offering
  • Deposit amount – demonstrates the offer is serious
  • Approved finance in place
  • Occupancy
  • Contingencies

Repeat the offer back to the buyer so you are clear there are no misunderstandings.

Be prepared to be unsatisfied with the buyers offer, as it is rare that it will meet all your requirements. The buyers may give you some things you want in exchange for demanding others you don’t want to give up. List the pros and cons of the offer so you can see what the trade-offs are. Usually, you will need to meet somewhere in between.

Here’s a list of questions to ask when you receive an offer:

  1. Deposit: How much and who has it? Is it refundable? If it is refundable, how does it become refundable? Is it a serious offer, as evidenced by a sufficient deposit?
  2. Price: What exactly are the buyers offering?
  3. Down payment: Cash, and if not, why not?
  4. Terms: New first loan?
  5. Occupancy: How soon do I have to get out?
  6. Conditions or “Subject To” Clauses: Is there anything that could weaken or kill the deal?

As you go through these questions, be sure you understand the answers that are given to you.