Real estate transactions like selling a home are complex and involve as many as twenty different players including real estate brokers, buyers, sellers, attorneys, inspectors, appraisers, lenders, and often contractors. Because of this, even the simplest transaction today typically takes between 30 and 45 days to close. You’re selling your home at a price decided upon with the help of your real estate agent. Together you have researched the market and prepared to list your home at a price you believe to be viable and suited to the condition of the property.
When a buyer or a buyer's agent makes a formal offer we will review the offer in its entirety together. It will include the offer price, as well as the terms and conditions of the offer. Home buying offers regularly include terms such as what should be included in the sale of the home. Anything that is an unusual request or requirement of the purchase offer needs to be thoroughly reviewed. We'll want to explore the full implications of anything odd that the buyer is including in a purchase offer. The offers will come on a legal form, and if accepted, you will be entering into a legal contract with the buyer. (Keep in mind that there are still lots of ways ‘out' for both you and the buyer at this point.) When an offer is made, negotiations are underway. Your real estate agent will be invaluable to help you decide how to proceed. The buyer may be checking to see if you’ll accept a lower price. They might also want other conditions to be met – frequently this is home repairs. You will need to determine if it’s a serious offer or if it’s unrealistically low. By industry standards, any offer that is 20 to 25 percent below the asking price is a low-ball offer. You may choose to ignore it or to make a counteroffer.
In advance of the counteroffer, you want to recheck the property values of other homes in your area. To continue negotiations, discuss the price range you are willing to consider with your agent. Rely on the agent’s knowledge of the market to help you set a counteroffer price back to the buyer. Set it too high and they may leave to find a different seller. Set it too low and you might be leaving money on the table. You may consider lowering the price just a little, but add an incentive, such as a flexible closing date. Your agent will handle the counteroffer for you.
Knowledge is power in negotiations and you want to put yourself in the best position to make smart counteroffers. Perhaps you’re already in negotiations to purchase your next home. Maybe the buyers are facing a pressing timetable because of an imminent job transfer or because they want to be settled before a new school year begins. Have your agent discuss the situation with the buyer’s agent to gain as much information as you can.
With an informed approach and a reasonable attitude, you can quite likely reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone. Don’t take the negotiation personally. This is a business transaction. Remember, if you don’t reach an outcome you want, you can always walk away from negotiations and wait for the next opportunity.
Let Valerie Bomberger, ABR, AHWD Re/Max Harbor Country help you in the Home Selling Process.