Step 9: Receive an offer

All of your hard work has paid off. But you won’t know exactly how much it’s paid off until you see the offer. This is an exciting, often emotional time, so be prepared.

Your REALTOR® can walk you through the process

  • You’ll see every offer
    It’s required that your REALTOR® present you every offer that’s submitted.
  • The buyer’s REALTOR® may be there too
    He or she represents the buyer’s best interest in the negotiation. The buyer may not be there, so you can review and respond to their offer without any awkward pressure.
  • Your eyes will be immediately drawn to the price!
    Here’s where emotions can really kick in. This isn’t a poker match, but remain calm. The REALTORS® can provide advice before any judgments are made.
  • Discuss the offer
    You may want to ask your REALTOR® for advice on the merits of the offer. Maybe it’s time for a high-five, or maybe it’s time to plan your counter offer. You may also wish some private time to discuss things with your partner.

Three options when responding to an offer

  1. You can accept the offer 
    You got the price you were hoping for, maybe even more! The closing date looks good and there are no fussy conditions. Sold!
  1. You can reject the offer 
    This offer isn’t even close.
  2. You can “sign back” the offer
    This offer is close, but something’s not quite right. Now the delicate art of negotiation begins, by “signing back”.

Reasons why you may want to “sign back”

  • You want more money
    This is by far the most common reason people “sign back”. Everybody wants to get the most for their home, and as the saying goes “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. Go for it, but don’t get too greedy and insult someone who has made a fair offer.
  • You want to change the closing date 
    Maybe your buyer wants to move in sooner than you’d like. Maybe you haven’t even started looking for a new home! You can “sign back” a compromise closing date.
    Perhaps the buyer will compensate you for the inconvenience of living in a motel
    for a few weeks.
  • There may be some undesirable conditions on the offer
    Conditions are points of contention that must be fulfilled in order for the sale to go through. Here are some common ones.

    • Buyer to obtain financing
      If the buyer doesn’t have a mortgage lined up, they will often put in this condition. The sale will only go through if the buyer can get the mortgage they want. The buyer’s REALTOR® will be candid about their odds of approval.
    • Approval to assume mortgage 
      You have a great mortgage rate on the property and the buyer only wants your home if they can also take over your easy payments.
    • Sale of purchaser’s home
      The buyer hasn’t sold their existing home yet and they want to be protected from the expense of owning two properties. You might want to ask their REALTOR®about the other home and its odds of selling soon.
    • Property Inspection
      This condition is becoming standard practice. Hopefully, you have disclosed every detail of your home’s faults, so there won’t be any surprises. Refusing a home inspection before sale is highly suspicious to a buyer, and may spoil the deal.

The art of counter-offers and negotiation
A successful negotiation is one that leaves both you and the buyer feeling satisfied with the outcome. This is a highly emotional time, so be sure to regularly “check your head”, and ask yourself “How important is this particular detail to me? Am I willing to jeopardize a sale over this?” Remember once you “sign back” an offer, you are releasing the buyer from their offer and they are free to walk away. REALTORS® can help you every step of the way.