You’ve cleaned and painted and staged and mowed, you’ve listed your house, and now some offers are coming in. Congratulations! But what now? How do you evaluate those offers to choose the best one, the one that right for you? Actually, there’s a lot more to it than just accepting the highest bid. So take a look at our step by step guide for reviewing offers for your house.
Get Your Priorities Straight
First, before ever beginning the process reviewing offers for your house, take some time to get your priorities straight. If you don’t know what you really want and need, you won’t be able to recognize the best offer.
For example, is the speed of the sale a priority, or is maintaining cash flow more important? Your best bet here is to discuss this with your agent so that you can craft the marketing campaign accordingly and then evaluate offers in light of your priorities. Keep in mind, too, that a good agent will keep your personal information confidential. (Find out more by calling 866-593-7012.)
Set Aside Your Emotions – It’s Business
The next step for effectively reviewing offers for your house consists in setting aside your emotions (as difficult as that may be). Selling your house a business transaction, and emotions have no part in it. Evaluating offers when guided by emotion could cost you a lot of money. Again, your agent can help you remain rational and emotionally detached, for it is her job, after all, to look out for your best interests.
Carefully Review Contingencies
After taking care of those two preliminary steps, your next step in reviewing offers for your house is to carefully examine the contingencies in the offers. These are the conditions that must be met for a sale to take place, most commonly inspection, appraisal, and financing contingencies. But some contingencies are riskier and more disadvantageous for you as the seller, and chief among these is the one that states that the sale is contingent on the buyers selling her current home. There’s no way to know whether her house will sell, and you may wind up waiting a long time with your house off the market – when you might have received a better offer.
Recognize the Strong Offer
Another key element of reviewing offers for your is being able to recognize a strong offer when one comes along. The three main ingredients of a strong offer are:
- Buyer’s financial strength – Typically this can be judged on the basis of one or more of the following: mortgage pre-approval, large downpayment, all-cash (or a large portion in cash) offer.
- Concessions that favor the seller – An example of such concessions would be waiving the buyer inspection.
- Buyer flexibility – A buyer who is flexible about closing or, if you need to sell fast, is amenable to closing right away indicates a strong offer.
Give Offers with Big Deposits More Weight
More money in your hands now is always a good sign when you’re reviewing offers for your house. If a buyer is willing to make a large earnest money deposit, you can bet she is a serious buyer and can likely come through with the financing. It also helps you keep your cash flow healthy. When you get the offers down to a shortlist and they are pretty equal in all other respects, it’s probably a good idea to go with the offer that promises a larger deposit.
Ultimately, though, reviewing offers for your house is as much art as it is science. It takes a lot of experience and a well-developed feel for what makes a “good” offer. And that means, really, that you should lean heavily on your agent when evaluating offers. Don’t make the mistake of accepting the wrong offer. Let our experienced agents help you make a better choice.