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October 10, 2018

Offer Comes in, But it is Low, Dog Low

An offer comes in, but it is low, dog low, what do you advise the seller?

Here are some options a seller has when presented with an offer to purchase her property. Here is an overview of several ways to respond and the opportunities these options offer.

ACCEPT, REJECT OR COUNTER?

So finally after weeks of keeping everything dusted, primped, and nearly perfect, you've received a written offer to purchase for your home. Emotions are high as you anticipate whether the offer will be acceptable. This is a very good point to review your options.

Option One

Say the offer is written to be fully acceptable, most sellers feel their first concern is the price. Contrary to experience, possession can be the real problem. Keep in mind that often times, both families may have deadlines on the selling and the buying end of this transaction. If all points of the agreement are workable, you have got a contract to buy your home! Endorsing this agreement finalizes the contract leaving it contingent upon other conditions of the agreement that can include: financing, a home inspection, and hopefully your attorney's approval. Attorney's will agree that it is much easier to clarify all points subject to their review than trying to handle problems later.

Option Two

If the offer is written and you feel it is totally unacceptable, then you have the option of simply rejecting the offer completely. If you do this, the buyer will have no point of reference to re-negotiate should they be interested in resubmitting the offer. Consider winning the war instead of just the battle. By countering, you keep the negotiations open, and alive. If you feel firm about certain points on the agreement, the buyer will at least be aware of them and now have a clearer perspective of your position. By not responding at all, the negotiations could end even though your buyer could have full intentions to meet your needs. Keeping the channels open is the most profitable negotiating tool. Feeling insulted and refusing to counter can sell you short.

Option Three

Perhaps the best alternative is simply to counter those points with what you want. Countering clarifies the position of the seller on all points of the agreement; price being only one facet of the purchase offer. Most often the personal property is an object of negotiations. The seller excludes from the premises things like the refrigerator, or washer, and dryer. Often times the seller is adamant about wanting to retain these items. Other times, for the right price, they can be included with the sale. At the time the home is originally listed for sale, the seller will inform their agent of their true intentions. Often times if the buyer pays a certain price, the seller may choose to include these items with the sale. It is truly short-sighted when personal items hang up the negotiations. The true issue then is not the sale of real estate but over second-hand appliances.

Other Considerations

Other countered points are the date of possession and closing. These dates are highly dependent on the terms of financing, and the flexibility of the buyer and the seller. In many states, possession is delivered at closing, which means the seller is out of the premises and the buyer can immediately move in once closing is completed. Other states have possession several days after closing.

The biggest problems can occur with the actual moving in and move out scenario. If the contract specifies that possession will be given at closing, the buyer will expect to be moving in directly after the parties leave the closing table. Most often the seller needs the proceeds from the sale to facilitate the purchase of the new home and is not quite done moving out of the home. The buyer is anxious to move in and upset about the additional cost of the movers waiting time. The seller has no alternative place to put his belongings, as the new purchase can't close until he has the proceeds from his sale. All of these factors could have been worked out prior to the last few hectic hours before closing.

Be sure to have your agent or attorney clarify these points for an easier transaction and smooth closing.

Keep in mind the goal is to sell your home to an able and ready buyer. Keep your options open, so you get the best situation for your home sale.

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