Have you ever been involved in selling a home where an offer was made and you refused to counter the buyers offer? Here is some advice for sellers to consider, especially in today’s economic environment.
If a buyer has taken the time to put an offer on paper and submit it to your listing agent, I think you would agree that this is a good sign that they are interested in purchasing your home.
Your agent calls and says, “great news, we just received an offer!” They come over to review it with you and you immediately get defensive. The offer price is way too low or the terms of the contract aren’t favorable. These terms could include financing contingencies, a long and drawn out closing date or a request for you to pay some of the buyers closing costs.
Do your best to leave your emotions out of this! Consider this a business transaction that, when completed, will get you to your eventual goal. That goal may be buying your dream home, retiring to a different state or country, downsizing and buyer a less expensive home allowing you to stash some cash, and the list goes on.
I have been involved in a few transactions with sellers who have absolutely refused to counter a buyer’s offer. 9 times out of 10 this is the worst thing you can do! Your strategy is that if you do not counter, the buyer will come back with a better offer in a few days. What!? This is like catching and releasing a fish where there are other fishermen around you and hoping the fish decides to come back to you because you think you have better bait on your hook. Why would you take a chance at losing an interested buyer when there is a lot of inventory for them to choose from? Chances are there’s another home out there that could work for them. You may have a special home unlike any others on the market. If priced properly, maybe holding out is the right thing to do, but that is a big risk to take. Make sure holding out for a better offer is worth the risk.
If you have received multiple offers while listed on the market that you feel have been too low, perhaps your agent is not being upfront with you. There is a high probability that your home is overpriced. If your agent has made you aware of this and you have refused to listen and agree to a price reduction, then you are missing the chance to get your home sold for the best price with the least amount of stress. I have seen more sellers that have ended up in foreclosure, short sale, not selling at all or receiving 20% less than an offer they received months or a year earlier because they held out for a better deal. As an agent, it’s hard to see this happen to a client. The agents best bet is to walk away from the listing if there is no agreement to reduce the homes price. The ability to sell your home depends on you and your agent working together to achieve that goal. If you have done your homework and hired a full time, professional and knowledgeable agent, take the time to discuss your concerns with them, they will do the same. Listen to the advice they have given you. This is their daily job. They eat, breathe and sleep real estate!
They have their finger on the pulse of the market and know what needs to be done to get your home sold.
Make the counter offer and keep the negotiations moving. This may be changing the price and terms, just the price or just the terms of the contract. You may have to go back and forth 10 times to get to a final agreement, but there is a good chance you will come to an agreement if you and the buyer are reasonable along the way. Not countering an interested buyer’s offer is not reasonable!
You may not always like what your agent has to say. It’s not your agents’ job to agree with you all the time or be your best friend. There are days you will not like them and you’ll wonder why you hired them. Ultimately, their job is to sell your home. If that means you getting upset because your agent gives it to you straight, that’s ok. You’ll thank them and get over it once your home has sold and you’ll be glad they weren't sugar coating anything. In fact, I have a good feeling you’ll become great friends…
I hope this helps to keep you focused on the ultimate goal of selling your home!