Accepting an offer in writing binds both you and the buyer to a legal contract on the terms of the offer.

 In Real Estate Law

It is time to sell your home.

You have cleaned your garage, met with your realtor and finally placed your house on the market!  The open house dates are set and people are placing offers.  Here is the good news, you have more than one offer  on your house!

Your next step is to evaluate the offers for quality and select the best offer.  In choosing the best offer it is most tempting to go for the highest purchase price offer. But that isn’t the only factor to consider.  You should also factor in the strength of the buyer’s financing and the contingencies the buyer wants.  Take the time to evaluate each offer and establish a negotiating strategy.  Be sure to base this on unemotional analysis of your needs as a seller. You will make your best business decision.

After evaluating the offers you can then either accept, reject or make a counter offer.  If you accept the offer, then subject to the conditions of the sale, your home is officially sold.  Many sellers have an immediate reaction to counter.  It is wise to step back and take a deep breath before making this decision.  In your counter offer you can revise the offer, the purchase price, contingencies (dependent on satisfactory inspections, on selling the buyer’s house, etc.), or the time for completing the purchase. You do risk giving the buyer time to reconsider their decision so you must decide if the counter offer is really worth it.

If you decide to make a counter offer keep in mind a few things.  A negotiation is a two way street and both parties need to feel they are receiving a good value. Think in terms of not only what you want, but what might you be able to give up to make the sale happen.  In writing your counter offer you may want to emphasize the areas that you do agree on before you begin asking for modifications.  For instance, point out all the areas of the original offer that are acceptable. This might include the closing date, the possession date, the down payment, the price, the inclusions and exclusions, and specific conditions or contingencies.

Once negotiations are complete and you are ready to accept the offer remember that accepting an offer in writing binds both you and the buyer to a legal contract on the terms of the offer.   Make sure you understand every detail when you put it in writing.

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