If you’re selling your house, getting an offer for it is an extremely exciting moment that follows lots of hard work. Still, you’re not ready to close once the offer comes in – you still have to evaluate it!
Whether you have a single offer or multiple bids to consider, deciding whether to say “yea” or “nay” is a big decision. Because of this, it’s important to answer a number of questions about any offers made on your house and to use your answers to ensure a decision is made with your best interests in mind.
Not sure how to evaluate any and all offers made on your house? The following questions are important starting points that can help you begin the process and prepare to make a decision:
Which offer is the highest?
If multiple offers come in at once, you can begin to evaluate them by listing them from highest to lowest offer. While money isn’t necessarily the final deciding factor, and you shouldn’t necessarily choose the bid that appears the highest on paper, you can still quickly rule out offers that are too low.
Are you willing to accept a lower offer for any reason?
Multiple offers are wonderful, but sometimes, houses don’t become the target of a bidding war like we wish they would. In these cases, you need to decide in advance the lowest offer you are comfortable settling for. This is particularly important if you have to sell sooner rather than later, and you are not willing to wait for a better offer to come along.
Is there an all-cash offer to consider?
If you have received multiple offers, you may consider whether or not any of the offers are all-cash. An all-cash offer typically carries assurance that your buyer will make it to the closing table, and so it might be the one you prioritize.
Did any of the potential buyers write personal letters, explaining why they want to buy the home?
Do you dream of your house being passed along to a new buyer who will appreciate it as much as you do? If yes, you’ll certainly want to consider any letters that prospective buyers send to you. It may be that one buyer’s dream for your house most closely matches your own vision and is the deciding factor that you and the buyer both need to commit to closing on the house.
Are they asking you to cover the closing costs on the house?
Closing costs – the fees and expenses associated with the sale of a house – are very important to keep in mind as you evaluate offers from prospective buyers. Closing cost fees vary from state to state and sale to sale, particularly if buyers request that certain costs be covered by the seller. Depending on who is covering which fee, and how much you spend covering said fees, it’s entirely possible for a “lower” offer on a house to end up being the more profitable one in the long run.
Do any of the buyers already have mortgage pre-approval?
When a buyer is pre-approved, that means their finances have been evaluated by a lender and that they are a serious candidate as a home buyer. While pre-approval does not mean “approved” (yet!), it does mean a lender is willing and ready to begin working with the buyer. It also means the buyer is very serious about their offer, and that they are unlikely to have problems getting financed for the amount you’re asking.
What does your real estate agent say?
As you answer these questions and more and evaluate any and all offers made on your house, it’s always worth asking your real estate agent for their opinion. A real estate agent is your best friend during the home selling process. Their training, knowledge, resources, and more will help them guide you from start to finish, including when you navigate the finer points of any offer.
Additionally, when you work with Howard Hanna’s agents, you and your agent will also have access to our Seller’s Net Sheets. These show how an offer will impact your financial bottom line, giving you the ability to truly consider the strength of an offer.
With your agent’s help, you may opt to accept an offer on your home, or you might decide to negotiate and counter (through your agent) with another price or different contingencies. Together, whatever you decide, we can help you strategize on your best next steps, and will help guide you to the successful sale of your house!
Are you ready to sell but in need of additional help? Howard Hanna offers an extensive range of tools, programs, and resources that will help you kick-start the home selling process. Learn more about how Howard Hanna is here to help by visiting our website.
We’ve also written a Seller’s Guide to help you learn how to sell your house, complete with tips for working with a real estate agent, low-cost ideas for staging your home, and more! Download the free guide today to take advantage of over 20 pages packed with advice and worksheets all geared toward one thing: helping you sell your home faster, easier, and for more money.
Thanks for sharing this guide. There’s a lot of factors to be considered when selling your house, and I believe as a realtor I should be able to point out other factors that the seller could’ve overlooked. Good article.