What do you do when you receive an offer?

  • You could accept it as-is.
  • You could reject it outright.
  • You could make a counteroffer ( a move opens negotiations with the buyer)

What’re your original goals to sell your house? Whether this offer you receive is good enough to meet your goals?  Discuss with your agent, who can help get the best deal for your specific situation, and decide whether you should negotiate.

Many buyers expect you to make a counteroffer, that’s why people make an initial offer that’s lower than the asking price.

What you’re hoping to get from the buyer?  Money is important, but not everything.  Timing is also a factor to consider.  Setting a clear sense of your priorities can make the negotiation process go smoothly.  Which is more important? More money? A faster closing period?  Fewer contingencies?

How much you could negotiate depends on how much negotiating power you have.  If you’re in a buyers’ market, you may have to make some concessions secure an offer.  If you’re in a sellers’ market, you may be able to persuade a buyer to offer more money for the house or to let go of some contingencies.

Not only your local market conditions could impact the negotiations, but also your timetable.  If you are in a time crunch, your hands may be tied;if you aren’t in a rush to sell, you may be free to negotiate more aggressively.

Sit down with your agent to assess your position and determine the right negotiating strategy for a successful counteroffer.

After you make a counteroffer, the buyer can 1) accept the new offer, 2) reject it, or 3) make a new counteroffer.

Putting an expiration date on the counteroffer is a smart strategy.  It puts pressure on the buyer to make a decision in a short time, also gives you the ability to move on to the next bidder.

In many cases, the first offer becomes the best offer.  Sellers see the most interest from buyers in the first month of the home being on the market.  Buyers tend to bargain the price if the house is on the market too long.

If you have multiple offers on the table, ask all buyers to come back with their best and final offer by a certain deadline and then choose the one that’s right for you.

Although the actual negotiation is the job of your agent, you are the main person to the deal.  Remember these:

  • Avoid making an emotional decision, you have to detach yourself from your home.
  • Know your bottom-line, what you need to get from the deal at a minimum.
  • Negotiate a clean offer, as few contingencies as possible, so the buyer has less opportunity to back out of the deal.
  • Offer a home warranty, make a deal more appealing to a buyer.
  • Don’t overlook the closing date, the faster you can close the better.

It’s important to keep in mind that the longer you have a house on the market, the more its appeal drops. It may be nice to deal with one buyer at a time, but it’s because of lessened demand.

As time passes, the chance that you’ll get the price that you’re looking for dramatically decreases. When you sell your house, consider the devaluation that occurs over the course of a negotiation, and ask yourself if your house will be able to fetch a higher price than offered after all of that time passes.