Warren County Ohio Real Estate News and Observations

We Got An Offer On Our House. What's Next?

contractWe Got An Offer On Our House.  What's Next?

Dear Liz,
You've gotten us an offer on our house!  YEAH!!
What's next?
Signed,
Ready to Respond!


Dear Ready,
First off, congratulations on getting an offer on your home!  Remember when you trusted us that getting all your condition items addressed PRIOR to going on the market, staging your home, pricing it right and marketing were ALL critical?

Well, now we're on to the NEXT critical phase, attempting to turn that OFFER into an actual PURCHASE CONTRACT. Whether the process becomes adversarial or cooperative is going to depend a lot on how YOU react and how WE interact with the buyer's agent.

NegotiationsFor right now, the fact that they've put something in WRITING says a lot about how these POTENTIAL buyers feel about your home.  Now that said, chances are their offer is MUCH lower than you wanted to see! 

Your FIRST inclination is to want to go hit them and their agents upside the head with this offer, isn't it??  But hey...you've seen all the articles in the papers and magazines telling them how THEY, the BUYERS, totally own the world right now, doesn't matter that our LOCAL market has never seen that level of decline.  The good news is we've got a STARTING point.

So here are your options:

  • DO NOTHING.  IGNORE THEM.  The contract expires at the deadline date and now THEY'RE the insulted ones.  The problem with this approach?  Your home is no closer to being SOLD, so let's not use this technique!
  • EVALUATE THE SITUATION.  Do we expect other offers coming in during the time frame this offer is open?  Has market activity picked up recently?  Slowed down?  How long have you been on the market?  How quickly do you need to move?  Are they even close to your acceptable price?  These and other factors are going to influence your decision making process.
  • ACCEPT THE CONTRACT.  AS IS, NO CHANGES.  HUH??  Yes, this is also an option.  You take the contract EXACTLY as it's proposed, make no changes, sign on the bottom line, now all you have to worry about is the Inspection Phase and that they get Financing.  This is a rare approach, but IF the most important thing is less stress and just being DONE, then this may be your path.  We've had sellers take this road when we were confident we could get them more money and they KNEW we felt that way.  Again, we work for you, you tell us this is what you want, we'll do our best to make it happen.
  • COUNTER OFFER.  This is the most common approach.  Now HOW you counter offer can be pretty critical too.  You can counter on ANY term in the contract:  Price, Closing Date, Occupancy Date, Items requested (appliances, lawn mower, deck furniture, playset, window treatments, etc.).  These are ALL negotiable!  That said, tread lightly Grasshopper!  Decide just how critical each element is BEFORE changing!  Each change is an opportunity for the buyer to decline to pursue further.  When you counter offer on price, decide how far you go with your initial response.  Moving VERY little off your list price indicates you're pretty firm on your price, whereas a larger move signals more of a "let's meet somewhere in the middle" and get a deal done.  BOTH approaches are valid based on the situation.
  • MULTIPLE OFFERS.  It's YOUR lucky day, because your odds just got better.  Now NEITHER offer may ultimately survive (been there, done that just this week!), but even here you have options.  You can chose one contract and reject the other(s), or tell them all it's multiple offer time and ask for "Highest and Best", and THEN select which one you want to work with.  That said, some buyers and agents are scared off by multiple offer scenarios, not willing to risk the hurt of losing, or afraid they'll "pay too much" in their efforts to beat someone else!  A note of caution, multiple offer situations need to be handled carefully to make sure you don't get more than ONE accepted offer (it's been done...but NOT by us!).  Keeping control of the situation is imperative.

Now depending on how offers proceed, you may feel like you're playing ping pong.  Offer, counter, counter to the counter, counter to the counter to the counter.....AACKK!  Can't we just BE DONE??  And even in this Soldprocess you have options.  You ALWAYS have the option of going straight to your bottom line and saying:  "This is my final offer".  The buyers may accept, they may not.  And here's what they may not want you to know...they MAY be back later.  They MAY not find a home they like better and come back and restart the process.  We've seen it happen MANY times.  Remember, the end goal is a SOLD sign in your yard!

If you have further questions on how to sell your Warren County home, don't hesitate to contact us!  And don't worry, it's NEVER about us, it's about YOU and WHAT we can do for you!

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

REALTORS(S) Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth & William Spear
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Liz direct:  513-265-3004
Bill direct: 513-520-5305     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  LizSpear@Go-Concepts.com

Our Website:  www.LizTour.com

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30 commentsLiz and Bill Spear • February 26 2011 09:24AM
We Got An Offer On Our House. What's Next?
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We Got An Offer On Our House. What's Next? Dear Liz, You've gotten us an offer on our house! YEAH!! What's next? Signed, Ready to Respond! Dear Ready, First off, congratulations on getting an offer on your home! Remember when you trusted us that… more