Well, you’ve made your house look it’s best, priced it right and opened it up to the entire real estate community and now you have an offer. Maybe more than one if you are very lucky. What to do now?
First of all realize that the buyer’s “job” is to get the best home for them at the best value possible given market conditions. Our job is for them to buy your home, but at the best price and terms for you given the current marketplace. So don’t get mad if the offer comes in at a price less than what you were hoping for or can live with. Usually it is just a place to start.
We have gone through many negotiating classes and seminars. Between that training and all of the real world experience gained by selling hundreds of houses every year we are very valuable to have on your side when it’s time to negotiate contracts.
Clearly the price is the bottom line. However the terms are often close behind. Does the settlement date work for you? Will they allow you to rent back so you don’t have to make two moves? How many days will it take for them to do their home inspection? How much is their earnest money deposit? Who is their lender and is their lender’s letter an approval or a pre-approval? Are they asking for the chandelier that was given to you as a wedding present? So the whole contract is important and must be carefully looked at before crafting a response.
It happens often that keeping a dismal offer alive leads to an acceptable offer coming in from another party that is honestly told that an offer exists. So even a bad offer can be very valuable. The old saying is don’t get mad at the one who wants to buy your house—if you want to be mad, be mad at all the ones that saw it and didn’t want to buy it!
Nowadays we’re lucky. It is common for agents to e-mail contracts to us. We then forward them to you so you can have the contract in front of you as we discuss our response.
Believe it or not the negotiating phase doesn’t have to be the most stressful time of all. From experience we know that being a savvy and successful negotiator doesn’t mean being nasty to the other side. Even when you do extremely well there are ways to make it a win-win relationship.