The Offer: Walking You Through Every Step

I want to talk to all you folks who will be selling your house this Spring. It’s exciting isn’t it? Buying a house is great, but when you do that you’re paying money. When you sell, you’re making money. And maybe a lot of money. At least that’s the plan.

So let’s talk about what to do when you get one or maybe ten offers on your house.

It’s such a great moment, when your REALTOR calls and says “We have an offer”! Now, your first question will be “How much”? What price did the buyer come up with? And yes, that’s huge. It’s human nature to react that way. But, price isn’t everything. So you’re gonna want to sit down with your REALTOR and walk through the offer page-by-page. And if there are multiple offers on your house – well, first of all, well done. But in that case you might need a second pot of coffee. There will be a lot to talk about.

Now sure, even though price isn’t the only thing, it’s huge. So let’s start with price. Now if the price offered by one or more potential buyers is just sky high, more than you ever thought you would get. That’s pretty exciting but you might want to come down to earth. Because if those buyers are getting a mortgage, the house will still have to pass an appraisal. And if it appraises lower than that sky high offer, you’ll either have to reduce the price at that point or the buyer will have to come up with more cash or the whole deal just might end right there. So a nice, fat, realistic price is much better than one way up in the stratosphere. Now if it’s all cash, that’s completely different. If they offer an all cash deal at a widely high price, that’s awesome and good for you.

Next, you and your REALTOR will look at the terms. When does the buyer want to take possession? Does that work for you? How much earnest money is the buyer putting down? How many contingencies do they have? In other words, walk aways. Does the buyer seem committed or do they have a long list of things that might make them leave the deal all together. That’s why price is somewhat relative. You see, if one offer is really high but contains a half dozen ways the buyer can get out of the deal – that might not be as good as a slightly lower priced offer in which the buyer has fewer walk aways. You’re looking for the buyer that will go the distance all the way to closing.

And that brings us to one more really important issue. Can the buyer really afford to do the deal? Your REALTOR will help you there. A pre-approval letter should give you a pretty good idea of whether they have the horsepower to buy the house and make it to the closing table.

And finally, after you pick the best offer, you may need to make a counter offer. In fact, that happens most of the time. Very few offers are accepted as is or rejected as is. Most of them involve counter offers. And there might be several rounds. Just think of it this way, every time you do another round, you’re getting closing to a meeting of the minds. A ratified contract which will go all the way to the closing table.

Yep, getting an offer is a great moment. You feel like you did it. All the work you put into the house, all the showings, and all the open houses, all of that paid off because a buyer does want your house. But when you and your REALTOR go through every page of that offer and then make a counter offer that the buyer agrees to, well, that’s an even greater moment. Because the biggest transaction of your life is now in the final lap headed to the closing table. And that is awesome.

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