If you are selling your home, you should be prepared for the day your first offer comes in. When your real estate agent calls to say there is an offer on your home, you will naturally get excited. Whether the offer is good or bad, you should just remain calm–and discuss a counter-offer with your Realtor. The negotiations of a purchase begin with the buyer’s ideal terms and a counter offer that communicates the seller’s ideal terms.
A good agent will look beyond the price when evaluating an offer. There are many terms and conditions that will be taken into consideration. These may include the buyer’s financing, inspections and proposed closing date. Your Realtor should be there to minimize any risk to you and to address these items in your counter-offer. Their job is not to make a decision for you, but rather be sure that you understand fully what the offer includes and what is expected. If the buyers’ offer contains any problematic terms or conditions your Realtor will be there to help you address these items in your counteroffer.
Responding to Low Offers
The beginning of negotiations is usually the end of many months of hard work for the buyer or seller. The work ahead requires skill in order to maintain a strong position.
Sellers can lose their advantage if they do not counter an offer that a buyer has made. Even if the opening offer is beneath what the seller feels is reasonable, it is advisable for the seller to respond with a slight reduction from the asking price. The most important component in negotiating is good communication with your Realtor.
It is often advisable to counter a low offer with terms favorable to the seller. A counter offer has two advantages: 1) it keeps the buyer interested, and 2) it moves the negotiation forward and gives the buyer the opportunity to submit another offer that the seller is more likely to prefer.
Know Your Price Range
If you are looking to buy or sell it is important that you have an honest and detailed conversation with your Realtor.
Your Realtor is in a position to advise you on current market trends to educate you on the potential value of the home which you own or wish to purchase.
Evaluating Multiple Bids
Competition for homes is high in hot markets. When you are a seller faced with multiple offers on your home, how do you choose the best one? Your Realtor can help you compare and contrast the terms of each proposal.
Consider the terms of each offer. Are there contingencies that affect the sale, such as the buyers needing to sell another property before they can finalize the purchase of your home? Can you work out a mutually agreeable date for you to move out and for the buyers to move in? Can you get reasonable assurances that the buyers will be able to qualify for the financing they will need?
Your real estate agent can help you weigh the relative merits of each offer, so that you can accept–or counter–the best one, and line up another as an alternative.
A Tough Sale
Here is a situation that many buyers have experienced. After searching for weeks, you found the perfect home and you made a very low offer. The sellers responded with a counter-offer which was several thousand dollars lower than their asking price. You came back with a slightly higher bid, and they came down some more. After many days of back and forth, you finally reached a meeting of the minds, and you are very pleased with the results.
If you have driven a hard bargain in purchasing a house, be sensitive to the seller’s feelings as the transaction proceeds. They may be suffering from the impact of a rough negotiation. As you move toward your closing date, keep in mind that home selling and moving can be an emotional time for sellers. Buyers and sellers need to be considerate of each other’s needs. This will avoid making a stressful situation more difficult.