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Your Guide to Selling a Home

Everything you need to know to buy a home without an agent.

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Negotiate Offers

Negotiating offers is the time to really justify your price based on your strong knowledge of the market, home, and what you know about the buyers. 

You’ll be in a stronger position if you have comps ready to go to present if needed, and if they were to present their own comps – you can justify why that one isn’t the same or why yours is worth more than the other.

A listing agent will call the lender directly to confirm details and ensure this is a legit and valid buyer. If you are using an agent, then you should not be calling the lender directly! 

A lender must comply with their fiduciary responsibilities to their clients, and many details of their financial situation cannot be revealed to you (or your agent).

You still want to confirm that they are indeed qualified, and that they are pre-approved (not just pre-qualified).

Lowball offers can sometimes put a seller off to the point they do not want to work with that buyer. But as the seller, you are in control. In some states, you will need to sign a rejection of the offer. Most states you can simply ignore the offer or reply back to the buyers that you are not interested and not even putting a counter-offer out there. 

This can seem tricky if an offer comes in above your asking price, and you want to counter it. But there are scenarios where this makes sense. 

Example Scenarios:

Offer is contingent on them selling their home first 

It is tough for a seller to agree to take their home off-market while the buyer still needs to sell their own home. If you are in this scenario, here are some ideas to work with:

  • First, make sure they are serious about selling their home - is it even on the market yet? And if it is for sale, how long has it been sitting? Or is it currently under contract? If under contract, have their buyers passed the inspection diligence period?
  • Work out a way for them to start the buying process, perhaps going through the inspection and review due diligence, and then determine whether you want to accept their offer as they get closer to having their own home sold by now.
  • You can go under contract with the status "Active/Backup" and ensure your contract acceptance allows you to give them first right of refusal to remove their contingency if you receive another viable offer you would like to move forward with.
  • Work with their lender or have them work with a lender who can do a "Bridge Loan" for them so they can buy your home and sell their own home later.

You received multiple offers

If you have multiple offers on your home, then you have a chance to play them off each other by asking all of them to send in their final and best offer. Typically it is better not to reveal the winning price, as you tend to get them going as high as they can go if they really love the home.

The terms are not acceptable

You can have an offer on a home well above market value, but if there is an appraisal contingency where the home doesn't appraise for the sales price, then the buyer comes back to the seller asking to match the appraised value. This is a trick some buyers will try to employ to get the home locked up under contract, knowing that the appraisal will come in lower which opens the door for them to renegotiate. To prevent this from happening to you, consider countering the buyer to include an appraisal gap coverage for any offer over what you believe is market value for your home.

An escalation clause is used to help beat out other offers on the home without paying a lot of extra money unnecessarily. 

The way it works is that you set a base price for your offer. Then you include additional verbiage specifying that your offer will exceed any other bonafide offer by $x,000 more. You need to check if escalation clauses are legal in your state and area, and you may need to provide a redacted copy of the competing offer to prove that you do indeed have a competing offer at some price point.

Negotiation is everything.

The number one reason you should consider hiring a real estate agent is for their negotiation skills. Note that not all real estate agents are good with negotiations or numbers or understanding the market, or have the time to spend with each of their clients on these things.

This is one of our specialities. If you would like us to help, please reach out to us! Contact Liz at 970.412.1020 liz@homeguided.com to get started.

If you are intent on negotiating on your own, be aware that the buyer's side agent will have reservations about your skills and question your  comps, value justifications, and proposals. Make sure you know your stuff, and make sure you are doing everything legally.

If the buyer agent's buyers really want your home, then they are going to help you get through the process to ensure their buyers can close on their home. When I say that, I mean they are going to make sure the transaction goes smoothly, but they will not be working on your behalf. Make sure you follow along on the deadlines and know your states' requirements.

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