Sellers’ Guide to Multiple Offers

The exciting but stressful situation of receiving multiple offers on your house.

You put your house on the market: anxious to begin receiving offers or nervous that you won’t receive any in the time that you’re expecting. Finally, you receive an offer! …And another! Maybe even a third. For some, it will be clear which offer they want to choose to accept. But what if all of the offers have their perks and you’re at a loss when it comes to which one to choose? You don’t have much time to decide, what should you do?

Photo by: Siaron James

REVISIT YOUR ORIGINAL WANT AND NEEDS. At the end of the day, you should not accept anything that you will not be happy with in the long run. This is a big decision and milestone in your life. Remind yourself of what you originally asked for in terms of price, closing time, etc.. Write it down and refer back to this list when you compare the multiple offers that you have received.

ONE LAST OFFER. Before you sit down to make your final decision on the offers, present the potential buyers with an opportunity to put in their best and final offer. This gives them a chance to add any other extras or make any changes that could supply them with a better chance at being accepted, that they may have been holding back: which in return, gives you the opportunity to receive a better offer.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. One of the biggest, if not THE biggest, element of an offer: the price. It will be clear which offer is the best in this aspect: the higher one of course. However, even though this is a big component of the offer and your decision, beware of being blinded by the dollar signs. This article will mention other features that are also very important when it comes to deciding which offer to accept. Although it may be difficult -especially for a first time seller or a seller that is really looking to make the biggest profit- do not make the mistake of basing your decision solely off of price offering.

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TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK. This goes hand in hand with the step of comparing the price offers. You have to be 100% honest with yourself when asking thinking about this question: Is your house really worth as much as the potential buyers are offering? If so, great! If not, you have some thinking to do. Banks require home appraisals for people who are looking to receive money to aid in buying a home. If the appraisal finds that your house is actually worth significantly less than what you are trying to sell it for, the bank may reject the potential buyer’s request for money. Then, your buyer is suddenly unable to afford the original mortgage discussed.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE? Is the buyer offering anything extra that you had not originally asked for or read in the competing offers? If a potential buyer is very interested in a house, they will sometimes include extras that will set their offer apart from others to show their interest in hopes that the seller will believe their deal to be the best. Examples of additional terms a potential buyer may offer are as follows: making a large down payment or deposit, paying some of the buyer’s closing costs, or offering to outbid any other bidders by a fixed amount.

CLOSING TIME. This is one that is only important if you need to sell the house by a certain time- or maybe even stay in it for a period of time. If you already have new living arrangements set up, you will more than likely want a closing date that is sooner rather than later. In this case, the offer with the quickest closing date will appeal to you. On the other hand, if you have yet to find or a close a deal on your next place, you will seek a closing time that will give you a little more flexibility when it comes to arranging your next living situation and moving out.

CONSIDER CONTINGENCIES. Contingencies are the criterion that has to be met by a seller in order for an accepted offer to become finalized. This means that the more contingencies a buyer has, the more likely it is for an error to occur that will result in the offer not being finalized. Then you will be back at square one with your house-selling journey. Just because a buyer’s offer has a lot of contingencies, does not mean it will not go through: it is simply something to think about.

“The hardest decisions in life are not between good and bad or right and wrong, but between two goods and two rights” -Joe Andrew