Whether you’re selling your home because you need more space, or if you’re downsizing, moving to start a new job, or you’re moving closer to your family, there’s a lot to do before you can get situated in your new home. One of the most important steps you’ll need to take is selling your current home. You’ve hired a competent realtor to list and show your home, you’ve set your price, staged your home, and are now ready to show it. If it’s a seller’s market, chances are you will have multiple offers. What do you do to ensure you choose the best option?
Include Stipulations in Your Contract
If you’re wanting to sell your home but there are conditions you’d like to have met to make the sale work for you, you can include stipulations in the contract that a buyer must agree to before signing. While this can ensure the deal works for you, you may also scare away potential buyers so it’s crucial to decide what stipulations are absolutely necessary to make the process as easy as possible for potential buyers.
If an interested buyer wants to move in sooner than your ideal move-out date, you may want to turn the offer down. After all, you may have to wait until a specific date to move into your new home, or maybe you need to finish at your current job or would like your children to finish school before moving.
In many cases, you’ll be expected to pay part of the closing costs for your house. However, some buyers are willing to cover all of the costs, so you may not want to agree to the highest offer if there’s another close offer where the buyer is willing to cover all costs.
Generally, an interested buyer pays for the cost of a home inspection. If an interested buyer wants you to pay for the inspection, you may want to turn them down if you have other similar offers where the buyer is willing to pay for the inspection.
If a buyer has a pre-approval letter from a bank or mortgage company, their offer is worth prioritizing. Very serious buyers may even include a personal letter saying how much they love your home, which may sway you towards selling to them. However, be sure to consider the other factors outlined here before committing.
If a buyer has to wait for VA or FHA financing, it will more likely take longer for them to be approved for a mortgage, so if your timeline is tight you might want to consider other offers.
Buyers who come to the table with a cash offer usually are very interested in purchasing your home. However, they may not be willing to match your asking price. In these cases, you’ll have to ask yourself an important question: do you want to come down on your price? If you have other offers that meet or exceed your asking price, it may be worth waiting until the finances are sorted.
Some buyers may have to sell their current home before being approved for financing on your home, so they may wish to include a home sale contingency, which puts some risk on you as a seller. If their home sells in time they’ll purchase your home, but if it doesn’t then they can get out of the contract with no penalty. In these situations, it may be better to sell to a buyer who doesn’t have this contingency.
Does a buyer want you to make repairs on your home before they’ll purchase? If so, you may want to consider other offers where the buyer is happy as-is if you can’t compromise.
Consider All Your Options
You have a lot to think about before agreeing to a purchase offer. The buyer who is willing to make an all-cash offer may sound like a dream come true, but if they don’t offer the full asking price, you may be wise to consider other offers. Another buyer may want to take ownership sooner than you like, while another may want to make a lower offer based on the home inspection and appraisal, or expect you to pay a lot of money for improvements before they buy. In many cases, it’s not easy to know which offer is best. In these situations, it’s best to get advise from your realtor before deciding. They can help weigh the pros and cons of various offers to make it easier to decide which offer to go with.