So you’ve listed your house, you’ve shown it several times, and now a buyer has made an offer. This is the point when you have to make that agonizing decision: Do you accept or reject the offer? Selling a house is usually about much more than top dollar, so this decision is seldom easy to make. Here’s some guidance on how to decide whether to accept or reject an offer for your Long Island house.
When to Accept an Offer
Here are some of the circumstances when it makes the most sense to accept an offer:
Spring is the hottest time for home sales. So if you’re trying to sell during the off season, it will want to take that into consideration when offers are received. Top realtors agree that if you’re trying to sell between Thanksgiving and New Year, you should understand that you might not get as many offers as you may want.
MORE THAN THREE MONTHS ON THE MARKET, SHOULD YOU ACCEPT OR REJECT THE OFFER?
The length of time your house has been on the market should factor into the decision to accept or reject the offer for your Long Island house. If it has been on the market for more than three months (for whatever reason), buyers will automatically assume something is wrong with it. If you get an offer at that point, it might be wise to seriously consider it. You need to decide whether to accept or reject the offer is in your best interest.
If you are under time constraints and receive an all-cash offer – even if it’s a little lower than what you actually want, you have to determine whether to accept or reject the offer . Accepting an all cash offer can significantly reduce the time it will take to complete the transaction. You won’t have to wait on the buyer to get financing, and cash buyers are usually amenable to an as-is deal.
STRUGGLING WITH MAJOR LIFE EVENT
If you’re going through or struggling with a major life event, then deciding whether to accept or reject an offer for your Long Island house should be fairly easy. If you have to relocate for a job or have just gone through a divorce, then you might find yourself debating whether to accept or reject the offer. Depending on your situation, accepting the offer and moving on with your life may be the better course.
ALREADY FOUND NEW HOME
Most people looking to sell a house are also shopping for a new one to move buy. If you’re in this position and have already found that new house, it may be better to accept a lower offer. Weigh the cost of keeping the house vs selling for a little less. You may have to continue to pay utilities, property taxes and other costs, including possibly paying two mortgages simultaneously. If those costs add up to more money out of your pocket while you are waiting to get your price, then a quick sale is probably more important than getting top dollar.
When to Reject an Offer
There are, however, certain situations in which it is probably better to reject an offer, including:
Obviously, if you receive a higher offer, then you will definitely want to consider it. However a higher offer does not necessarily mean it is better. You will need to look at the terms for each offer. Even if you have two offers for the same amount, the terms can be the deciding factor. If one buyer wants fewer concessions then that could very likely be the winning bid. Other things to consider is the amount of the down payment. A larger down payment means the buyer will have to qualify for a smaller mortgage. If all other lender requirements are met you can avoid the dreaded inability of the buyer to qualify for the mortgage. This will result in you having to put the house back on the market and starting all over again with another buyer. Since buyers do not have inside knowledge of the reason the house is back on the market it allows them to speculate and they are often hesitant to consider bidding on the property.
When selling your Long Island house you should keep an open dialogue with your real estate agent. A knowledgable agent will provide you with the fair market value of your house at the time that it is listed for sale. This will give you the information you need to determine whether to accept or reject the offer. If your house is listed at fair market value and you receive an unreasonable offer then you should reject that offer.
FINANCING NOT IN ORDER
Whether or not a buyer has financing lined up has a lot to do with whether you should accept or reject the offer. When a buyer has not been pre-approved for a mortgage or does not have enough cash for a cash offer that is good grounds for rejection. An offer made without meeting either of these conditions is not a credible offer.
TOO MANY CONCESSIONS
The consensus among experts is that an offer should be rejected when the buyer asks for too many concessions. Asking for some concessions is just standard practice, but beware of the buyer who goes overboard and asks for an unreasonable amount or something way too large. Unreasonable concessions, for example, might be asking you to pay all the closing costs or asking you to make unnecessary repairs.
Making the decision whether to accept or reject an offer for your Long Island house is sometimes very easy. However, there are times when this decision is not as clear. Honest communication between you and your real estate agent is helpful in deciding whether to accept or reject the offer.