Accepting an Offer

A lot of attention is paid to the details of making an offer on a property. There are so many considerations and everything must be written down. A proposal lists the price and anything else a prospective buyer wants in the contract, including monetary commitments based on contingencies - like a new roof or finishing work. As a seller, you can decide what you will or will not include in the sale of the house.

You're in the Driver's Seat

If you're fortunate, you may have several offers on the table to consider, and you'll have your work cut out for you as a seller if you have to go over several of them before deciding. Of course, your realtor can help you determine the best deals offered, and advise you as you go - but the final decision rests with you, as the seller. And, even though you hold the trump card, the pressure can be intense with the fluctuations in the markets and the economy. Knowing when to accept an offer is important and there are some questions you should think about before making the final decision.

Things to Consider

Selling a house costs money and time. You probably can't afford to have the sale of the house fall through when you've taken on a new mortgage. So, the question is: Is the buyer pre-qualified? Sometimes a move is necessitated because of work or even foreclosure. If the move is urgent then you may have to settle for an offer that is less than you'd hoped for. Do you need to move?

How much money do you owe on your mortgage? The housing market saw a large depreciation this past year, which means that the time to sell may not be today. Selling at a loss is counterproductive. And, don't forget there will be closing costs and assorted other out-of-pocket expenses to consider.

Do You Have to Accept?

The state of the market is a big variable and one that makes an impact upon selling your home, especially if it has been on the market for a while. If you don't accept the offer you have, will you be able to get another one? A soft market may force your hand. Know that in a soft market buyers will offer lower than the property is worth. When there are a lot of houses on the market and nothing is moving, a buyer feels empowered to offer low. You have no obligation to anyone to accept an offer that is lower than you want for your house unless you are in a position where you must sell immediately.

At the end of the day, the offer you except should be one you can live comfortably with and not one you'll regret. Remember, the choice is yours.