How to Think About and Handle Offers on Your Home

Accepting a house offer can be nerve-racking. Is the offer sufficient? Should you wait to see if more offers come in? There is no right or wrong answer here because each situation is unique, and often, larger economic factors are at work.

Consideration and acceptance of an offer on your home can be a difficult process. To help you decide whether to accept or reject an offer on your home, follow the steps outlined below.

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Is the price right

Initially, you most likely had multiple agents value your property. You've also probably done some preliminary research on comparable properties to yours that have recently sold. As a result, you should have a good idea of what kind of offer you are willing to accept for your house.

The first offer will almost always be lower than you expected. However, most buyers do not expect their first offer to be accepted and will almost always offer 5% or 10% less than the asking price to gauge your response.

This process will feel easier if you are confident in the value of your home. You will be kept up to date on local market conditions and values achieved. Therefore, you'll know whether or not the offer is right for you

How long have you had your house on the market?

The timing of the offer is also likely to play a significant role in whether or not you accept it. If you have only recently listed your home for sale and receive a good offer, you may interpret it as a sign that the house will sell quickly and wait for more interested parties to appear.

Having said that, the best buyers are frequently the first ones through the door.

Accepting a low offer in the early stages of a sale is probably not worth it. However, don't dismiss a strong offer simply because it's your first.

Remember that the first few days after putting your property on the market will see the most activity.

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Is there anyone else who is interested?

If you've received an offer but there are still other buyers interested in the property, make sure your selling agent notifies them that you've received an offer. This should encourage other serious interest to emerge.

If you have two or more buyers making offers on your home, you may be able to negotiate a higher price and get a better deal.

However, be cautious that buying a home is an emotional process and an emotional buyer can cool off and withdraw an offer as easily as they submitted one, leaving you back at square one Determine how committed they are.

What is the potential buyer/s' position?

Determine how certain you are that a potential buyer can really proceed - your sales agent should do all of this for you, but if you don't feel you are, push them to find out.

You should be aware of the following:

  • Is this a cash buyer? (Ask for proof if they claim to be)
  • Is their purchase being financed with a mortgage?
  • What is their purchasing power? Is there a house for sale? If so, are they on the market? Ensure that your agent confirms the situation with the selling agent.
  • What timings do they prefer, and do they coincide with yours?

When you accept an offer, you must be satisfied with the circumstances of the people buying your home as well as the amount they are willing to pay.

Consider your options carefully before accepting an offer from a buyer who has not yet put their home on the market. A delayed sale on their end will prolong your sale and move forward.

If you accept an offer from someone selling who is already under contract, find out how long the chain they are a part of. A long and shaky chain with little progress can cause serious delays for you.

However, if the chain is moving and solicitors are making good progress, you can accept the offer with greater confidence and less risk of delay.

Ask your agent for advice, but the level of certainty a buyer can provide should give you confidence in your future relocation plans.

The final steps

When a buyer makes an offer, try to respond quickly, or be clear with your selling agent about how much time you need to consider an offer.

If you believe the offer is too low, you may believe it is prudent to respond immediately. Otherwise, it is typical to receive a response within 48 hours.

If the offer is close to what you are hoping for, talk to your agent about going back with a counter offer This may help you get what you want faster than simply saying 'no.'

Determine whether you want to keep all of your furniture, curtains, and white goods, as many of these items may not fit in your new home and can be used as effective bargaining tools to help you get the best price.  

While your agent will act as a middleman and is legally required to present every offer made, keep in mind that you are the client and their advice should always be in your best interests.

At the end of the day, the price you are willing to accept will be determined by market conditions, the quality of the buyer, how quickly you need to sell, and your moving budget.

Compromise is frequently required on both sides to secure a deal. If you feel the deal is right for you, accept your offer and get moving

If you haven't already, hire a good solicitor for your subsequent conveyancing. Tell us about your needs, and we'll contact an approved panel member.

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Last Updated: August 16th, 2021

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