Congratulations! You received a message from your real estate agent that you have an offer on your home. Now you need to evaluate that offer and decide how to respond.
What is an offer?
An offer to buy your home is a purchase agreement signed by the potential buyer that includes:
- The amount of the offer
- An explanation of how the buyers will pay, such as cash or a pre-approval for financing
- The terms – such as a request for closing cost help or contingencies such as the sale of the buyers’ house, a final mortgage approval, a satisfactory home inspection and an appraisal
- A target date for closing
- An earnest money deposit
- A time limit for the offer
How do I evaluate each offer?
When you receive an offer to buy your home, you and your real estate agent should review it and consider whether you want to accept it. Whether you have one offer or several, you and your agent will look at:
- The amount offered
- Whether the buyer has included or waived contingencies
- Where the funds are coming from, such as all-cash, a reputable local lender, a well-known online lender, or an unknown out-of-town lender
- The proposed closing date and date of possession of the house to see if it aligns with your needs
- Any special requests for items to convey or for special inspections
What happens if I receive multiple offers?
If you receive multiple offers, your real estate agent can advise you on one of these options:
- Accept the best offer. If one offer stands out above the rest, you can accept that one right away. But be careful not to be swayed by a high offer if the financing seems uncertain or if the buyer hasn’t explained a plan for a possible low appraisal.
- Counter all the offers to get a better price and terms. You can ask all potential buyers to give you their best offer by a certain deadline.
- Counter one offer that’s close to what you want. If you like one offer but think the buyers could do a little better, you can send them a counteroffer to see if they’ll accept it.
You and the buyers can negotiate until you both agree on the final contract. Your real estate agent is your best ally during the negotiations and is equipped with the data and knowledge to guide you.
Selling a home is a big decision and requires a lot of work. From getting the house ready to reviewing the escrow papers, our helpful guide will walk you through the process of selling your home. Our real estate professionals can help you maximize your opportunity.
Real Estate Glossary
Use this glossary to make yourself more prepared for the professionals and documents you'll encounter in your real estate experiences.