All of your hard work has paid off, but you won’t know exactly how much it’s paid off until you see the offer. This is an exciting, often emotional time, so be prepared.
You’ll see every offer. It’s required that I show you every offer submitted. We will come for an appointment, usually at your home, to discuss the offer. The buyer’s REALTOR® will probably be there, too. They are there to represent the buyer’s best interests in the negotiation. The buyer will not be there, so you can review and respond to their offer without any awkward pressure.
Your eyes will be immediately drawn to the price!
Here’s where emotions can really kick in. This isn’t a poker game, but remains calm. Let’s talk before making any judgments.
We will probably ask the buyer’s REALTOR® to leave the room.
Now you and your REALTOR® are alone to discuss the merits of the offer. Maybe it’s time for a high-five, or maybe it’s time to plan your counter offer. You may also wish some private time to discuss things with your spouse.
You can accept the offer.
You got the price you were hoping for, maybe even more! The closing date looks good and there are no fussy conditions. Sold!
You can reject the offer.
This offer isn’t even close.
You can “sign back” or “counter” the offer.
This offer is close, but something’s not quite right. Now the delicate art of negotiation begins, by “signing back.” Some reasons why you may want to “sign back” or “counter?”
You want more money.
This is by far the most common reason people “sign back.” Everybody wants to get the most for their home and as the saying goes “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Go for it, but don’t get too greedy and insult someone who has made a fair offer.
You want to change the closing date.
Conditions are points of contention which must be fulfilled in order for the sale to go through. Here are some common conditions which buyers place on their offers
i. Buyer to obtain financing. If the buyer doesn’t have a mortgage lined up, they will often put in this condition. The sale will only go through if the
buyer can get the mortgage they want. For some sellers, this is too big an “if”, but the buyer’s REALTOR® will be candid about their odds of approval.
ii. Approval to assume mortgage. You have a great mortgage rate on the property and the buyer only wants your home if they can also take over your easy payments. Will this potential buyer qualify?
iii. Sale of purchaser’s home. The buyer hasn’t sold their existing home yet and they want to be protected from the expense of owning two properties. Maybe their house will sell in a flash. Maybe it won’t sell at all. Maybe you don’t want the sale of your home riding on so many maybes. Time to consult your REALTOR® about the other home and its odds of selling soon.
iv. Property Inspection. This condition is becoming standard practice. Hopefully, you have followed the suggestion of your REALTOR® and disclosed every detail of your home’s faults, so there won’t be any surprises. Refusing a home inspection before sale is highly suspicious to a buyer and may spoil the deal.
The Art of Counter-Offers and Negotiation.
A successful negotiation is one that leaves both you and the buyer feeling satisfied with the outcome. This is a highly emotional time, so be sure to regularly “check your head” and ask yourself “How important is this particular detail to me? Am I willing to jeopardize a sale over this?” Remember once you “sign back” an offer, you are releasing the buyer from their offer and they are free to walk away. Thankfully, your REALTOR® is an expert and seasoned negotiator, and will help you every step of the way. Happy negotiating and best of luck!