What to do with the offers you receive will depend on your initial goals for the sale of your home
The words every seller loves to hear and a Realtor® loves to report: Sold Firm! When your home is sold ‘firm’, it means more than a firm handshake promise: it means that the buyer is prepared, and legally obligated, to purchase your house or condo outright, without any conditions. If you accept the offer, the home will belong to the buyer upon closing, barring any (rare) issues with lawyers searching title. The 5% deposit the buyer submitted along with their offer will be held in trust by Jamie’s real estate office towards the buyer’s total down payment. When closing day rolls around, you will finally let go of all responsibility towards the property.
What is a firm offer?
- Is known as a ‘bird in the hand’; even if other offers you may receive have stronger terms, if they are conditional, they do not actually represent a deal yet,
- Shows that the buyer is 100% serious about purchasing your home,
- Means you can take your home off the market immediately and move on with your own home search or other plans.
This means that the buyer has placed one or more conditions on the purchase; though he or she is still submitting a deposit along with the offer, there are certain stipulations that, unless they are satisfied by an agreed-upon date, mean that the deposit can be returned to the buyer without prejudice. For instance, a sale might be conditional upon the buyer obtaining a satisfactory home inspection within five business days of the offer date. If the inspector comes back with an unsatisfactory report, the buyer can back out of the deal with a Mutual Release. The home is not legally sold until all the conditions in the offer, which usually appear on a Schedule (addendum) to the offer, have been met and waived or fulfilled.
The Offer Presentation
Offers will usually be presented to you during a formal meeting between yourselves, Jamie, and the buyer’s Realtor®, while the buyers wait with bated breath somewhere nearby. You have three options once you have reviewed an offer: you can accept the offer, reject it, or submit a counter-offer. In the case of multiple offer situations (a.k.a. bidding wars) the process may naturally take a long time and be a stressful one for everyone involved: you may be rejecting offers out of hand, or relaying advice to the buyers’ agents via Jamie. Jamie is always there to advise you of the desirability of accepting, rejecting, or signing back a particular offer so that you are thrilled with the result.
Counter offers are often called ‘signbacks’ and they are desirable in terms of keeping negotiations open. You might make a counter-offer in reference to the price, the closing date, or any number of other variables that work better for you than what the buyer has initially proposed. Jamie will help you strategize an appropriate response based on your plans and goals. Sometimes it will be in your best interests to walk away from the table altogether – for instance, if the buyer’s upper price limit differs too far from your expectations.
The offers can go back and forth until both parties have agreed, or until one party ends the negotiations.