Things to Know When You Get a Offer On Your Home
Know who your Buyer is and their capacity to close. Accepting a great offer is almost irrelevant if the Buyer isn’t able to get financing and take possession of the property. We’ve mostly seen this with Buyers who bought at the height of the market in February or March and were unable to sell their old home when the market shifted (or were unable to sell their home for enough money to fund their new purchase). When you get an offer, it’s important that your agent finds out about the Buyer’s ability to close. How much is their downpayment? Who is financing the mortgage? Do they need to sell their existing property to fund the purchase of your home? If so, where’s that home and what’s the plan for listing it for sale? How much do they think it’s worth? Do they have a plan B in place if the property doesn’t appraise out for the amount they paid? Don’t underestimate the power of a Google or Facebook search to find out who the Buyer is. [Related: All About Appraisals]
Get a big deposit. When a Buyer makes an offer to purchase a property, they also provide a deposit (usually held in trust by the listing brokerage). How big is their deposit? Bigger deposits are always better as they ensure the Buyer has some skin in the game. It’s easy to walk away from $1,000….but would you walk away from $50K? [Related: All About Deposits]
Be ready for conditions When a Buyer isn’t competing for a property in a bidding war, we usually expect them to make a conditional offer, meaning that their offer is conditional on things like getting financing or a home inspection (usually for 3-5 days, though longer conditions happen sometimes). If the Buyer doesn’t waive the conditions, they are able to walk away from their offer and their deposit is returned. Conditions can be frustrating for Sellers because it prolongs the process – but really, it’s win/win. It’s better to find out 2 days after an offer that the Buyer can’t get financing instead of 2 days before closing.
Remember that negotiating is a two-way street. Focus on what’s most important to you (price vs. closing date vs. conditions) and be prepared to be flexible on some terms. Most importantly: hire an agent who isn’t afraid to negotiate smartly.
You might have to be flexible on price. It may be better to sell at the start of a declining market than ride the market down.
Already on the market? Talk to your agent about how to adapt to the new market realities. Thinking of selling? Give us a call.Allison Pimentel Keller Williams Group One 775-835-3578