Here’s what sellers should know about navigating this competitive market.
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How can you sell in this competitive real estate market? The first key is making sure you have expert representation. I’m not just talking about someone who has negotiated a few contracts or knows a thing or two about the industry; you need to partner with a professional who has experience in a competitive market, a proven, repeatable plan for marketing, negotiating, and effectively handling any hiccups that may arise along the way.
The ability to assess multiple offers is critical. Start by looking at whether it’s a financed offer or a cash offer, and if it’s the latter, does the buyer have proof of funds? A letter from their dear uncle, cousin Vinny, or Mickey Mouse himself saying that they have the money won’t cut it—proof of funds is evidence provided by a financial institution. If a loan is involved in the process, the agent should reach out to that borrower’s lender and confirm what’s detailed in the letter. The more information you can find out, the more protected you’ll be.
Don’t jump too quickly. An offer that seems too good to be true most likely is so, and buyers who dangle jaw-dropping offers in front of you tend to be the ones who cancel within the inspection period or if something doesn’t go exactly according to their plan. However, by the same token, you don’t want to wait too long thinking you’ll just keep accruing more and more offers. Is there truly going to be a better offer?
If you’ve only received financed offers since going live on the market, then you need to remember that what you can get for your home is limited to a financial institution’s assessment of value; you want to make sure that your buyers don’t try to hold out on the appraisal contingency. That’s a surefire way to lose time. That being said, there are buyers that may be willing to pay above appraised value.
You’ll also want to discuss your plan to move with your agent up front. Will you need a simultaneous transaction, meaning you’ll close on your new home the same day you settle your sale? If so, certain provisions need to be made to make sure you won’t have to stay in a hotel between properties. We’ve been able to negotiate staying in the home after closing—it’s an uncommon strategy, but it has been used successfully in our market.
When negotiating, make sure that everyone feels like they’re winning. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice money, but you do want to make sure the agreement is such that the buyers can genuinely feel good about what they’re getting out of it. That being said, my final piece is to make sure that whatever offer you accept is the right price and time frame for you. Again, clearly explain your motivations for selling to your agent up front so they can champion your interests throughout the whole selling process, and make sure the offer you select checks the necessary boxes.
Please feel free to reach out to me via phone or email if you have follow-up questions about this or any other real estate-related topic, as I’d be more than happy to chat with you! I’m here to be of assistance in your home selling journey.