Selling Your Home, Part 4: The Offer Process

After you receive an offer on your home, here are the steps you must take to know whether that offer is truly right for you.

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After you’ve put your home on the market, what do you do once you get an offer? There are a few key steps you must take if you want to maximize your sale. 

First, consider your response time. As we know, time is of the essence when it comes to real estate, so you need to act quickly. What kind of time limit has your buyer given you? What are they expecting out of this deal? If they’re frustrated because they’ve been on the losing side of previous multiple-offer situations, they’ll want a quick response (and by “quick,” I sometimes mean within a matter of hours). 

Also, examine whether the terms and conditions of the offer meet your needs. By terms and conditions, I mean the sales price, the suggested move-in date, etc. Keep in mind that your first offer is usually your best offer, and it typically takes about 10 to 12 showings to generate that first offer, so take into consideration how long your home’s been on the market. 

What if you get multiple offers? If you price your home properly, stage it, and get 10 to 20 showings within the first couple weeks, that will generally attract multiple offers. This isn’t a fun situation for buyers (and neither is it for sellers, occasionally), but it will generate the highest price for your property. You want to find yourself in a multiple-offer situation, but you also need to know how to manage this situation properly.

"Time is of the essence when it comes to real estate, so you need to act quickly."

How? As stated above, time is of the essence, so compare the terms and conditions of each offer and respond to each one quickly. In our marketplace, my team and I usually counter each buyers’ offer and ask for their best offer within a 24 hour period. This way, we get a better idea of how far they’re willing to go in terms of price, terms and conditions, contingencies, closing date, and their move-in time frame. Be careful during this process, though, because some buyers can get easily scared off by multiple-offer situations. 

Lastly, consider the contingencies of the offer. I’ve already mentioned them before—every offer comes with contingencies, so figure out which offer’s contingencies are the least restrictive. Typically, there are two types of contingencies you’ll have to deal with: home inspection contingencies and financing contingencies. 

The time frame for home inspections is usually 10 to 12 days, and buyers reserve the right to ask for any repairs during this process. You don’t have to agree to the repairs, but they can also choose to walk away from the deal if an agreement can’t be made. When it comes to financing contingencies, you need to find out how far along they’re at in the lending process.

If you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.

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