Selling a Home: The Offer Process

Okay.  You have placed your Eastern Georgia area home on the market for sale. What now? Do you just sit back and wait for the perfect buyer to come along and swoop up the great deal you offer? Things don’t usually happen that quickly.

There will come a day when your agent tells you that you have received an offer on your property. Typically, this offer will be on a standard form, and it will come from a buyer who is being advised by an agent. This offer will include, not only the price the buyer is willing to pay, but some other items, such as which appliances go with the property, possible repairs that are needed, escrow stipulations, and conditions of the closing process. An offering of earnest money will also probably be attached.

Possible Responses to an Offer

You have three possible responses to this offer: Acceptance, rejection, or counteroffer. The most common option chosen by sellers is a counteroffer. Keep in mind that the buyer will probably have had the property appraised. If that appraisal valued the property at less than the asking price, that will affect the ability of the buyer to obtain a mortgage for the full amount. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get the asking price, but there may have to be negotiations on how to make up the difference, such as in the down payment, or other concessions.

Your Advantage as the Seller

As the seller, you have the advantage of knowing how many offers you have received. Typically, the buyer and/or the buyer’s agent doesn’t have this knowledge. For all they know, you could be swamped with offers. Your agent can advise you on negotiations in the counteroffer process. What you need to do is assess which aspects of the sale are most important to you, and which may be bargained down.

In other words, the sale price of the property isn’t the only item that can be negotiated. Also, the counteroffer is just the opening move. There will be give and take on both sides. Perhaps the buyer wants immediate possession after closing, and you need to stay there another week or two. That can be negotiated. You may want to retain the appliances, but for a good price can leave them.

Let Your Agent Help

Your agent can help you with advice on how not to feel intimidated by “final offers”. If you drop your price more than once, be sure the second drop is considerably less than the first, so that the buyer knows you are nearing your final offer.

The give and take of negotiation can be challenging. One way to keep things to your advantage is, for example, to have one spouse negotiating, with the caveat that the absent spouse has to be consulted on this or that point. One of you can be the “heavy” and the other one the “flexible” one. It’s a “good cop/bad cop” scenario.

For more information about negotiating counteroffers, here is a link to an article on the Helping Home Sellers site entitled Countering Tactics.


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Dos and Don’ts for Successful Showing

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The Davis Team is here to help you with ALL your real estate needs. If you or someone you know is planning to sell or buy a home in 2017, we want to hear from you! Please contact us at, or visit our website at