Handling home offers

Logo ColdwellBanker
 November 22, 2011
After preparing the property, performing any necessary repairs, cleaning, and completing many other activities, home sellers reach the stage where they receive an offer. The fortunate may find themselves entertaining more than one at a time, or with an ideal offer dropped in their lap. Knowing how to judge and deal with these offers is necessary and sometimes difficult.

Evaluating offers

Home offers do not exist in a vacuum, but rather in the context of the current market and the property's location. Home sellers often remember what they paid for a property and expect to get the same amount or more, due in part to their own personal attachment to the home. While appreciating a good property is wise, home sellers should allow their real estate agents to guide them to a better understanding of the area and current market in order to determine what is a fair price.

When assessing offers, price is the key factor, but not the only one. For example, a prospective buyer who offers a great price but is not prequalified for a loan may not be able to follow through. MSN Real Estate notes such cases can waste a significant amount of seller time and effort. If a buyer's financial situation is unclear but the sellers are interested, they may wish to ask for more time to consider or indicate the nature of their concern.

Comparing multiple offers

Home sellers fortunate enough to receive multiple offers should evaluate them carefully, and remember to look at more than the price itself. If one offer is considerably higher than the other, it will likely be the desirable one, but if they are closer the decision may be more difficult than it appears. Considerations like the closing costs and any other home buyer requirements might alter the balance, for example.

There are also intangible factors the offer is unlikely to contain, which a real estate agent can help with. For example, buyers who submit a lower initial offer might do so with an eye toward negotiation, while a reasonable-seeming offer only slightly higher might be all those potential buyers are willing to spend.

MSN Real Estate notes home sellers should be careful to remain clear and honest about how interested they are in a given offer, to avoid misleading potential buyers. In addition, sellers must be careful when discussing potential buyers, since any revelation of privileged information can cause trouble.