March 15, 2011 — Realty Times Feature Article by Carla Hill
Today’s market can be a difficult one for many sellers to navigate. And while your real estate agent can advise you, the ultimate decision of what offer to accept is entirely up to you.
This decision can come with quite a bit of pressure. Even in the most favorable of markets this can be a difficult time. How do you know when to accept an offer?
Here are some questions to consider.
1. Is the buyer pre-qualified/approved? Selling will require an investment of time and money. You may need to find a new home or a temporary rental. There’s nothing worse than buying a new house, only to find out the deal to sell yours has fallen through.
2. Do you need to move? The urgency of your move may dictate what offer you accept. Many sellers need to move quickly for a new job. Or they may need to sell to avoid foreclosure. If you are in a rush, you may need to accept an offer that is less than ideal.
3. How much do you owe? You don’t want to sell your home at a loss. And be sure to take closing costs into consideration. Many markets experienced high levels of depreciation over the last year. If you are underwater on your loan, now may not be the time to sell.
4. What is the market climate? Are you likely to get another offer? How long has your home been on the market? Have you had many showings? All of these are factors to consider when contemplating what offer to accept.
Above all, ask yourself if this offer was a reasonable offer. There are buyers that may attempt to low ball you. They may see that your home has been on the market longer than your competition. They may know that it’s a strong buyers market. And in response they offer a much smaller amount for your home than it is worth. You are not obligated to accept or even respond to these low ball offers. But if you are in need of selling now, every offer warrants consideration or a counter offer.
In the end, you must accept an offer that works for you. You may be willing to accept a lower amount in exchange for a faster closing date. Or you may wish to hold out for the highest dollar amount.