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How to Handle Multiple Offers When Selling Your Home

Edie Israel

After years of executive sales and marketing experience as well as entrepreneurial success, Edie entered into the real estate market of Southern Calif...

After years of executive sales and marketing experience as well as entrepreneurial success, Edie entered into the real estate market of Southern Calif...

Oct 24 4 minutes read

Receiving multiple offers when selling your home probably sounds like a good thing, and in many ways, it is. However, you must consider carefully before deciding how to proceed. This complicated scenario offers you one best chance to get it right. Perhaps the most frightening part is that you have a very short window of time to make this weighty decision. The intricacies of choosing the right offer to accept, then making it to closing, are not decisions you should try to make on your own.

How Sellers Today are Deciding

According to data from the 2013 California Association of Realtors Seller Survey, an average of five offers were made from buyers to sellers on properties. The majority of sellersover 70 percentopted for the highest offer. More than 40 percent chose the buyer with the most secure mortgage qualifications. The remaining decision criteria included selecting an all-cash offer or one offering a quick close of escrow. But while most sellers lean toward the highest offer, that is not always the best choice.

Keeping Multiple Offers on the Table

It is important to remember as a seller that the first offer is not always the final offer. In a seller's market, as today's market is, buyers will often submit a "lowball" first offer in hopes that you will accept it. This opens the door to begin the negotiation process, something you can legally do with more than one buyer at a time, as long as you disclose this fact. The timing can get a little tricky, however, and it's easy to become confused when dealing with multiple parties. This is where your experienced Realtor® becomes invaluable. It is his or her job to help you evaluate each offer based on total merits, rather than single factors, and to carefully track deadlines and responses for all offers.

Evaluating Your Goals

Listing a property and receiving an offer are often the easiest parts of the real estate transaction. The real work comes with the process of negotiation, inspection and closing. Potential buyers frequently experience financing challenges during the contract period, a fact that can derail your transaction and potentially reduce the value of your home. A prequalification letter, typically all that is required to submit an offer, is no guarantee that the offerer will qualify for a loan. A high-dollar offer from a potentially unqualified buyer is useless and even damaging to your position. Whether your main goals are a quick close or the highest possible price, you and your agent must carefully evaluate each offer and verify the financial qualification of all potential buyers.

Selling a house can be a bit like negotiating a maze. Lenders and multiple offers from buyers make for a complicated and delicate puzzle for the seller. In most cases, it is difficult to identify the relative advantages and disadvantages without professional assistance. If you are interested in selling your home in the Yorba Linda, California, area, contact the Edie Israel Team for quality representation and advice on complex issues like multiple offers.

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