Should I Accept This Offer?

Saturday, March 3, 2012   /   by Justin Hoffmann

Should I Accept This Offer?

Being a seller in today's market can present its share of challenges. How do you know when to accept an offer and when to hold out for something better?

Is the current offer a low ball offer or are you simply hesitating over attachment to the home? This is the first and most crucial question to ask yourself.

You see the memories and the upgrades you've made to the home. You know down the cent how much you've invested in the property. In today's market, however, home values have fluctuated and dipped. It's time to detach emotionally from your home and view it in a financial light. Is this a low ball offer or is a reasonable offer for your current market?

How long has your home been on the market? If your home is new to the market, especially if you've had multiple requests for showings, then accepting the first offer can be a gamble. You might not receive another offer, but on the other hand if this offer is too low you might be dealing with a vulture.

Are the terms agreeable? Some offers are right on target with asking prices, but are demanding when it comes to closing cost concessions and even move-out dates. If you don't have a new home lined up and the buyer is wanting you out in 2 weeks you'll find yourself in quite the scramble! Consider all the factors included in the sale.

Will you lose money on the sale? Many homeowners have found that their homes have depreciated in value over the last six years. Can you afford to sell at the offered price? Think about if this will cause you to be too far in debt on your mortgage to buy your next home.

How fast are you needing to sell? -- Are you moving to another state or city? Many of today's sellers are needing to move and that means buying a home. Even if you're not moving, you may have already found, or purchased, your next home and don't need two mortgages hanging over your head. In this instance it would be best to run the numbers, negotiate competitively, and accept a fair (even if lower than expected) offer.

Are you are risk of going into foreclosure? If you are selling because you can no longer handle your payments and don't want to ruin your credit for the next seven years then it would be wise to accept even low offers. Buyers are few and far between in today's market.

This is where the expertise of your agent comes in. They can tell what market activity is like for your area. How long are homes staying on the market before selling? Do they think you'll receive another interested party? If they think the offer is too low and that you'll get more money by waiting a short period for another buyer, then you should wait it out.

Buyers today are just like anyone looking for a deal. They know that home prices are on the decline and that inventory far outweighs demand. They come in shooting from the hip, wounding asking prices with their offers. Don't be afraid to shoot back with competitive counter offers. If someone is truly interested and not just low-balling they'll play the game.

As the seller it is up to you to decide on what deals to accept. If your home is on the market or you are consider listing it, then it would serve you well to figure up your bottom line now. What selling price can you afford? Be aware of what you will and won't sell your home for. Then when offers come in you'll know just how you can respond.

by Carla Hill

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