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Sales Representative | B.A., 2016 President's Gold Award

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Receiving An Offer

How do I help you manage your offers?  A buyer's Realtor communicates the offer, sometimes known as an Offer to Purchase (a legal document specifying the offer's terms and conditions) to you and/or your Royal LePage Triland Sales Representative.  The offer states how much the buyer is willing to pay and details the conditions.  The offer can be firm or conditional.

For sellers: calculating your net proceeds

When an offer comes in, you can accept it exactly as it stands, refuse it (seldom a useful response), or make a counteroffer to the buyers with the changes you want. In evaluating a purchase offer, you should estimate the amount of cash you'll walk away with when the transaction is complete. For example, when you're presented with two offers at once, you may discover you're better off accepting the one with the lower sale price if the other asks you to pay points to the buyer's lending institution. Once you have a specific proposal before you, calculating net proceeds becomes simple. From the proposed purchase price you can subtract:

  • Payoff amount on present mortgage;
  • Any other liens (equity loan, judgments);
  • Broker's commission;
  • Legal costs of selling (attorney, escrow agent);
  • Transfer taxes;
  • Unpaid property taxes and water bills;
  • If required by the contract: cost of survey, termite inspection, buyer's closing costs, repairs, etc.

Your present mortgage lender may maintain an escrow account into which you deposit money to be used for property tax bills and homeowner's insurance premiums. In that case, remember that you will receive a refund of money left in that account, which will add to your proceeds.

A signed offer is a binding contract.  Make sure you understand and agree to all of the terms before you sign.

For sellers: counteroffers

When you receive a purchase offer from a would-be buyer, remember that unless you accept it exactly as it stands, unconditionally, the buyer will be free to walk away. Any change you make in a counteroffer puts you at risk of losing that chance to sell. Who pays for what items is often determined by local custom. You can, however, arrive at any agreement you and the buyers want about who pays for:

  • Home inspection;
  • Survey;
  • Buyer's closing costs;
  • Points to the buyer's lender;
  • Buyer's broker;
  • Repairs required by the lender.

You may feel some of these costs are none of your business, but many buyers ( particularly first-timers) are short of cash. Helping them may be the best way to get your home sold.