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Choosing the Right Offer

Here’s what you need to consider to pick the best offer for your home.

If you put your home on the market and get multiple offers for it, how do you know which one is the best?

This is an important question because we’re seeing more and more multiple-offer situations in our Columbia marketplace due to extremely low inventory (2.4 months). This is especially true in the price point under $250,000.

When it comes to picking the best offer, price is obviously something you want to consider, but remember that it isn’t everything. Here are several other factors to keep in mind:

1. When the buyer wants to close and take possession of the home. Do they want to take possession before closing, at closing, or will they allow you to stay in the home after the deal is done and move out then?

2. Financing terms. Are they paying in cash or using a mortgage loan? If they’re using a loan, do they have a pre-qualification letter from a reputable lender? A good agent can help you sift through financing terms, and they’ll know who the reputable lenders are.

3. Closing costs. If the buyer wants you to pay the closing costs, for example, that can constitute 2% to 3% of the overall sale price—maybe more. The buyer may also ask you for home warranties.


A good agent can help you sift through financing terms, and they’ll know who the reputable lenders are.


4. The reputation of the buyer’s agent. If I’m dealing with an agent who’s easy to work with and wants to make a deal, I have a much better feeling about their offer than one from an agent who’s always having deals fall through.

The last factor is particularly important, and I have a quick story to share to illustrate why. You see, a buyer’s agent recently submitted a full-price offer for one of my client’s homes that was worth $1.3 million, but I was leery because I already knew this agent. The previous three deals they brought to us all fell through. I told my seller to be careful because this agent obviously deals with shady people and doesn’t vet their clients well.

Sure enough, when I asked this agent if their buyer ever saw the house before, they said no—they only saw pictures online. That’s a big red flag. I don’t like having my sellers take their homes off of the market when a buyer makes an offer but hasn’t seen the home in person yet. I’ve seen deals fall through because buyers changed their minds once they saw the home in person.

The bottom line is, multiple-offer situations are tricky to navigate and there’s more than just price to consider. Having an experienced agent on your side will help you tremendously in sifting through these factors and picking the best offer.

As always, if you have questions about this or any real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help.

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