This is the sixth article in the series called, Love Selling Your Home: Minimize Your Stress, Maximize Your Profit, a step-by-step guide to selling your home. This series takes you through the entire home-selling process — from finding a real estate agent to settlement day. How do you know if you’re selecting the BEST offer for the home you’re selling?
Believe it or not, it’s not always about the money!
Here are some smart strategies and tips to keep in mind so that your home is sold to the right buyer, for the right price, and for less stress and anxiety (a big plus for you):
Know What You Want Most
First and foremost, you need to decide where you’re willing to be flexible and where you don’t want to budge BEFORE you list your home. You will face several negotiation tactics from buyers, so know where you stand on certain terms before you’re in the thick of it.
Do you want the closing date to be sooner than later since you want to move on to a new home you’ve already bought? Or, if price is very important, are you willing to accept a higher offer even if there are contingencies that you don’t like?
Know your deal breakers so you can quickly eliminate the offers that don’t meet them and keep the review process moving in a timely manner.
Don’t Be Swayed by Price Only
Don’t assume the highest offer is the best offer. Really evaluate each buyer’s entire financial package. There are several factors that can improve a lower offer and guarantee you’ll make it to closing as a happy seller:
- A higher down payment with less financing or all cash down signals a buyer is financially ready to buy with little hassle so you can move forward on the deal.
- If timing is critical for you, look at the loan type of each buyer, since FHA loans can sometimes slow things down compared to conventional loans.
- Buyers who offer a higher earnest money deposit mean they are serious and committed, and you’ll have no worries that they will walk away.
- Definitely consider buyers who are willing to waive any contingencies or seem willing to work with you on certain terms. No strings attached can be a big plus, even if the price is lower!
- Ask for a financial information statement. Nowadays, a lender letter isn’t enough, and you should evaluate the financing strength of each buyer. By seeing their financial pros and cons, you’ll get a more complete picture of what they can truly afford.
Don’t Take Advantage
Don’t be hard-nosed, don’t mislead, don’t stall, and don’t show a lack of appreciation during the negotiation period before you decide on an offer. Disclose the same information to all of the buyers and give them the same deadlines.
Remember, buyers can walk away and not want your home if you seem difficult or you keep changing things. Plus, your overall demeanor could backfire when you’re down to one party and you still need to work with each other to complete the transaction.
It all comes down to “playing nice” while still using strategic negotiation tactics to sell your home.
To Read or Not to Read those Love Letters
If multiple buyers are vying for your home, each will most likely write a letter and possibly send photos showing that they are the perfect buyers who will love your home just as much as you. Here’s their chance to stand apart from the competition and tug at your emotions as you decide on their offer.
Reading these personal appeals could either make your decision easier or much, much harder. You usually want to make selling your home a straightforward business transaction and not get mixed up in emotions.
However, selling a home you love IS emotional and very personal, so tread lightly here and keep it all in perspective. The more you know about a particular buyer, the harder it may be to disappointment them.
And, these love letters are now getting heat in the real estate industry for not complying with fair housing laws, which is why I always recommend to my sellers not to allow them. If you agree, then I can communicate that to potential buyers and their agents and keep us both safe of fair housing violations.
As you can see, it takes some finesse and tactics to make sure you say “Yes” to the right offer for your particular situation and home. Agreeing to the “right” offer is not always about the money. It’s about the other terms in the contract as well. Don’t worry, when it gets to this point in the process, I will clearly and concisely lay out the pros and cons of each offer and give you my best recommendations for making the right decision for you and your specific situation.
HI, I’M LISA HINKLEY AND I HELP PEOPLE LIVE THE HARBOR LIFE IN PUNTA GORDA, FLORIDA
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Punta Gorda, FL 33950
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