Most transactions involve a fair amount of negotiation between the initial offer and the signed contract. An agent’s objectivity, experience and counsel are usually indispensable in these situations. Keep in mind that price isn’t the only thing that’s negotiable in the sale of your home. A potential buyer can add any number of terms to the contract, which may make the offer more or less attractive to you.
Some of the most common elements to consider:
Your agent’s knowledge of the current market is invaluable in helping you decide to accept the offered price or counter with a higher one. He/She will also help you consider the time value of money in your decision, i.e. will a higher offer offset potential additional carrying costs?
Some buyers purchase a home subject to obtaining a mortgage. The terms of the mortgage and a time frame for securing financing must be stated in the contract. Make sure you are comfortable with these terms and the buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage, because if they cannot, the contract will be void.
Most buyers choose to conduct an inspection of the property with a licensed home inspector to identify potential structural or material problems. If the inspector uncovers any issues, you and the buyer must negotiate what items will be addressed, by whom, and who will pay for them.
This is the date when ownership changes hands. If you have specific requirements for scheduling the closing due to your own move, the buyer’s flexibility in this regard might be an important factor in deciding to accept an offer.