It depends. However, before I elaborate on this answer to your question, let me first advise all sellers to be open to reviewing all reasonable offers.
As your listing agent, I am obligated to present all offers to you, however, if a buyer’s agent contacts me with the intent of writing some ridiculous low ball offer, I will advise them to review the comparable properties in and around your home and rethink their offer strategy.
Now, back to reviewing a first offer. I will go over this first offer with you, we will look at the offer price and the terms of purchase agreement. Perhaps, it is an all cash offer, offering less than you want, but they can close in 15 days and are not asking you to pay for termite repair or much other expense for that matter. I would remind you to remember your motivation for selling this home, if you could sell this home in a short period of time to enable you to move on to your next destination, would that be worth taking a bit of a cut in the sales price?
Perhaps, the offer is financed, what kind of loan is the buyer qualified for, what expenses or repairs are they asking you to pay in order for your home to meet the requirements of the buyer’s lender? Is the buyer asking for you to pay their closing costs? Have they offered more than list price, but are asking for you to pay closing costs, which nets you less than the offer price? We would need to make sure the higher offer price will still be able to appraise at this price?
Each condition and contingency of the purchase offer will be reviewed and explained to you, so you can make an informed decision. You can then reject the offer, counter the offer or accept the offer. If you counter the offer, you could accept another offer before the counter offer came back to you, if you accept an offer, all subsequent offers would be in back-up position, you the seller can only accept one offer on your home.
I hope this explanation helps to understand that the you can accept the first offer if it meets your expectations in its entirety and allows you to move to your next destination.
originally published in Ventura County Real Estate Center