So, you listed your home for sale and you've received an Offer to Purchase, or perhaps multiple Offers. What is the best way to analyze the Offer? What should your response to the buyer be? Your Realtor can offer you guidance but ultimately the decision is yours to make. In order to help you formulate the best response, below are some helpful tips for negotiating the best offer on your home.
1) Understand how the process works - When you receive an offer, you can accept, reject or respond with a counter offer, which is a modification of the terms they've presented to you.
2) Decide what is important to you - In advance, decide what terms of the sale are most important to you. Perhaps you need a quick closing or maybe you need a certain amount of money to pay off your existing mortgage. Allow yourself to be flexible on as many terms of the Offer to Purchase as you can be. That way, you'll have a higher likelihood of putting the transaction together.
3) Don't take the offer personally - Home buying and selling is an emotional process but put simply, it is a business transaction. If a buyer lowballs and says it's because they need to update the 1940's kitchen and bath, don't be offended. Everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to home style, color, flooring, kitchen and bath design, etc. If the buyer is expressing interest in the home, carefully listen to how they've arrived at their purchase price and don't be too quick to discount it.
4) Review all terms of the offer - Often sellers will focus on the purchase price and not carefully consider the other terms of the offer. Is the proposed closing date acceptable? Has a pre-approval letter been attached to the offer so that you know the buyer has the ability to obtain a mortgage? Is the buyer asking for the seller to pay closing costs? Do they want the appliances or drapes? Review the amount of earnest money the buyer intends to deposit in escrow to determine whether it's sufficient to bind them in the transaction.
After reviewing every facet of the Offer to Purchase, determine which ones are acceptable, which ones can be re-negotiated, and which ones are deal breakers.
5) Think outside the box - Let's say you received an offer that is unacceptable. Instead of rejecting it, think about how you can creatively work out the terms of the transaction so that they're acceptable to both parties. Ask questions to help you determine what the buyer needs/wants most from the transaction. Maybe they need to close in a short amount of time. In this case, you might remain firm on your price but offer a quick closing. Perhaps they are moving from out of state and aren't bringing any appliances with them. Offering to include the kitchen and laundry appliances may make a difference. If the buyer was gushing about your custom window drapes, consider including them in the sale but, in turn, stay firm on a component of the transaction that is important to you.
In conclusion, to successfully negotiate the sale of your home, listen carefully to your Realtor, try not to let your emotions get in the way, carefully analyze all terms of the Offer and, most of all, remain flexible and creative!
About the Author:
Catherine is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and has worked as a REALTOR for approximately 25 years. If you, or anyone you know, are thinking of buying or selling a property, Integrity Residential Brokerage located in Pepperell, MA, would love to hear from you! We strive to offer you the highest level of professional assistance possible making your desires and goals a reality.
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