February 9th, 2016
Sellers who wait until they’ve received a buyer’s offer before initiating three key steps may be forcing themselves to make too many decisions at once and too quickly.
Most of us are uncomfortable with decision making. Many lack confidence in their ability. Yet, sellers will be faced with quickly making multiple financial, legal, and lifestyle decisions when a buyer’s offer is presented to them.
There are 3 key positive actions sellers should begin before offers come in, so that they are prepared for decision making and are less overwhelmed by the selling process:
#1. Start believing that you’re living in the buyer’s new home.
Mentally move out. Let go of “mine.” Cut the emotional cord. Concentrate on making the property as attractive to buyers as possible and practical. If you wait to start this “cut the emotional cord to home” thinking when your real estate professional presents you with an offer, you’re doing yourself a tremendous disservice. Making confident decisions is difficult when you’re distracted by pride of ownership and personal history.
#2. Start planning ahead about what the buyer may ask you to do.
Anticipate buyer requests regarding financing, moving dates, and other factors that may cause inconvenience or cost to you, the seller. For instance, if you had to wait many months for closing and the money from the sale, what problems could that cause you? Conversely, consider costs attached to moving in less than a month or at least sooner than convenient. Do you understand possible costs and considerations if buyers ask you to hold a second mortgage to enable them to pay the top dollar you ask for? Ask your real estate professional to explain how seller-held mortgages work and what would have to be true for you to sell that mortgage and realize cash.
#3. Start focusing on full value over list price.
The value expressed in a buyer’s offer to purchase involves 5 key elements – it’s a financial package:
Weeks or months may pass from the time that you decide to sell and the day your real estate professional receives an offer to present to you. This key stage of selling your home is no time to discover:
Suggestion: To prepare for offer presentation, read the offer form standard clauses soon after listing, so that you understand what the small print commits you to do, protects you from, and leaves you vulnerable to. For instance, the seller is usually responsible for keeping the property fully insured until title changes hands. Do you understand what responsibilities you have if flooding, storm damage, or fire strikes before then? Ask your listing salesperson to show you typical offer clauses well in advance, so you have time to digest details and ask a lot of questions before you’re up against the offer deadline which may only be a few hours away.
Discussing strategies and contingencies with your listing salesperson ahead of offer presentation will help the professional negotiate a solid high-value Agreement with the buyer. Mentally preparing yourself, and anyone else who has a say in what happens to the property, means no one will be pressured into snap decisions or miss opportunities under the tight timelines common with offers.
Real estate professionals are trained to help sellers make decisions in their own best interest by providing necessary context and details, but these professionals cannot advise sellers exactly what to do, nor make decisions for them.
To gain full benefit from the knowledge and experience of the real estate professional who lists your real estate, let them fully prepare you for offer presentations in advance. When an offer comes in (usually at a very inconvenient time), you’ll feel as confident and prepared as possible faced with this life-changing opportunity. You will understand which decisions to make and how to evaluate the full offer.
Written by PJ Wade