Just a couple of weeks after listing, you get that much awaited phone call from your agent, telling you that an offer has been made on your house. You try to hold your excitement down as you agree to meet with your agent and review the offer that might turn into the sale!
This is the time that you truly need a professional on your side, a person who knows the fine print of offers. He will tell you what’s being offered and if there are any contingencies, conditions, or sale specifics tied to the agreement. You will need to review the small print about who will be expected to pay closing costs and fees associated with the buying/selling process. All of these specifics, including the offer price, are negotiable and your agent will know best how to proceed toward posting that “under contract” plaque on the for sale sign posted in your front yard.
Once this offer is on paper and in the hands of your listing agent, you will have approximately two to three days to give an official response. Even though the reading is tedious, it is critical that you read the fine print of the offer. Does the buyer want you to pay for a new roof? Is the offer contingent on the sale of the buyer’s present house that has flooded three times in the past two years? These are questions you need to have answered before you can make an informed decision.
After reviewing all the specifics of the offer, you’ll either make the decision to accept it with no changes, to write a counter offer (this can happen more than once), or reject the offer altogether. There will be many things to consider, even the financial security and credit of the potential buyer. Your agent can access this personal information that would be beneficial to helping you make the right call. If the buyer is pre-approved for the amount he’s offered and has excellent credit, it’s probably a green light.
Signing on the dotted line with your agent and agreeing to sell your property to the person who made the offer puts you under contract, legally binding you to follow through. There’s no changing your mind, and no changing items spelled out in the sales contract that your agent will provide. So, start packing the boxes and get moving on to the next adventure!