Once a buyer is found an offer will be presented to you detailing all the terms and conditions. You then will have three choices to respond to the offer. You can accept the offer, counter the offer or reject the offer.
If you receive an offer and you are satisfied with the price, possession and all the terms and conditions all you have to do is sign it. Your realtor will witness your signature and you will have a binding contract.
If you receive an offer and are not completely satisfied, you can make a counter offer detailing the changes you wish to make that are acceptable to you.
If you receive an offer that is not acceptable to you such as very low price or unrealistic terms and conditions you can reject it. When a buyer makes an offer considerably lower than asking price they may be in the market for a desperate seller or “fishing” to see how low you will go. By rejecting the offer you put the onus on the buyer to bring you a serious offer.
It is important to remember most buyers are serious about buying a real estate property and are willing to negotiate. So even if an initial offer is lower than your expectations, bargain in good faith. Most successful negotiations between buyer and seller are accomplished through compromise.
As a seller your most enviable situation is having more than one offer at the same time. When that happens your chances of getting top dollar for your real estate property increases. When you have multiple offers your realtor will present all offers to you at the same time. Once you have reviewed them all you have to decide which offer you wish to pursue and reject all the other offers. You then can either accept or counter this offer. If you make make a counter offer and the buyer rejects it you may be able to revisit the other offers if the buyers are willing to resubmit. Employing a realtor who has excellent negotiating skills will definitely give you an advantage.
Can my Lawyer advise me?
When you receive an offer and the terms or conditions are not clear and it is beyond the scope of your realtor (e.g. partnerships, tax ramifications) it is advisable to get legal advice. Your realtor can insert a clause in the offer with a condition that states the offer is subject to you consulting your lawyer.
How much time do I allow for conditions on an accepted offer?
When an offer is accepted on your real estate property there are usually conditions attached such as mortgage financing, home inspections, etc. You must allow time for the buyer to remove these conditions. Generally one week is an acceptable time, however sometimes more time is required if there are extenuating circumstances. These circumstances may include for example, the buyer does not live in the immediate area or they can not make arrangements to remove the conditions immediately.
Usually the larger the deposit, the more solid the sale will be. There are no set amounts for a deposit but an acceptable minimum is 5% of purchase price. Sometimes a buyer may not have a large deposit so your realtor can assist you to determine what is in your best interests. Deposits on real estate offers in British Columbia are obtained either upon acceptance of the offer or upon removal of all conditions.
How to get the most from a Real Estate offer
When you receive an offer on your real estate property take into consideration several factors before deciding what you should do. First, is the offer submitted a competitive offer? If the real estate market is hot you may get what you are asking. If the real estate market is stable or is a buyer’s real estate market you may lose out to your competition if you counter the offer. Your realtor can provide you with information as to how to proceed. By talking to the buyer’s realtor, your realtor can determine the buyer’s motivation and possibly find out if the buyer is prepared to make a better offer. Remember most buyers have compared your home to other homes on the market and are aware of current real estate market values. If your home is listed at a competitive price and both parities agree to compromise a mutual agreement is possible.