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Receiving Offers & Negotiating with Buyers

All the planning, preparation, marketing, and showings have paid off – an offer, “the contract of purchase and sale”, is coming in on your home!

This is a very exciting time as a milestone is acheived – an offer! But it can also be a stressful time with emotions running high. Your REALTOR® has an obligation to show you each and every offer that is submitted on your home. It’s possible that you may not like the initial offering price or you may even disagree with some of the other terms and conditions of an offer. In order to get the most out of each offer, it’s important to keep your emotions in check, maintain a level head and remain objective. The goal is to negotiate the best deal you can get within the parameters of the current market conditions, while ensuring that the offer is contractually sound, transparent and in alignment with your real estate objectives.

Receiving an Offer
An offer can be received by the listing agent in a number of ways: by fax, by email or in person. Depending on the situation, there are several possible scenarios:

  • If the offer is sent to the listing agent, the Buyer’s agent will request that it be presented to the Seller on their behalf.
  • Alternatively, the Buyer’s agent may wish to present the offer in person, in which case the Buyer’s agent will present the offer to you, with the listing agent present.
  • When a Buyer’s Agent presents the offer, they will want to share a little bit about the Buyer and put their best foot forward in presenting a case as to why you, the seller, should give serious consideration to that offer.
  • When the Buyer’s Agent has finished their presentation they will leave the room, allowing you and your REALTOR® to discuss the merits of the presented offer.
  • If you do not want the Buyer’s Agent to present the offer, the Buyer’s Agent may request written confirmation that these are your instructions.

Here are your options when responding to an offer:

1. Accept the Offer
If you accept the offer, this means that all the terms and conditions of this offer are aligned to your goals and the offer is accepted by you, as presented.

2. Reject the Offer
Either the price is so far off, or there are few redeeming qualities to the offer, that there is no point to opening a discussion.

3. Counter the Offer
The offer carries enough substance that it merits you and your MLS REALTOR® changing certain aspects of the offer, signing a counter-offer and sending it back to the Buyer for consideration.
It is the Buyer that can now accept your counter-offer, reject the counter-offer or counter your counter-offer. Unless your counter-offer was extremely unreasonable, the Buyer will likely choose the latter option.

Note: When offers are in the counter stage, sellers may still look at new offers that may arise and can accept another offer provided that they are not putting themselves in the position of having acceptance on more than one offer – neither being a back-up offer. If a Seller decides they will accept another offer, the counter-offer will need to be rescinded and this needs to be conveyed to the Buyers REALTOR®/Buyer prior to them conveying acceptance. It is clear that timing is crucial in situations like this, so ensure that you are in experienced hands when working on multiple offers at the same time.

This is 1st of 2 Blog posts in Step 8 of a 10 Part series. Go to the next step in this series: 6 Steps to Negotiating with Buyers

by Faith Wilson

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