Accepting an Offer
Accept an Offer
You may not have to wait long for your first offer. If the market is active, you may get one the day you list. In most cases, however, you will wait anywhere from 30 to 60 days for an offer. This can be an emotional process, especially if offers come in far below your list price, or your home has been on the market for several months.
- Don't rush negotiations - Take the time to receive offers in person, not over the phone. Consider all offers carefully, and make sure that the terms are as favorable to you as they are to the buyer.
- Decide on the lowest offer you'll accept - Avoid sharing this figure with anyone, including your agent, as the number may change during the time your home is on the market. Be careful not to telegraph your lowest expectations to a buyer.
- Get everything in writing - This is for your protection and the buyer's. Documenting the process helps avoid confusion and potential legal problems down the road.
- Don't get personal - You want to know as much as possible about the buyer's motivation—and the buyer wants to know about yours, as well. If possible, avoid discussing your situation in terms of any need to sell. Don't overreact if you are presented with an offer you find insulting.
- Don't hesitate to counter - Even in a buyer's market where numerous listings make selling difficult, it never hurts to counter an offer (particularly a low offer).
- Play fair - If you are selling in an active market, work out an orderly procedure for receiving more than one offer at a time.