The first offer you receive, other than a situation of competing offers, is usually the best offer you’ll receive. You can accept, counter, or reject so be prepared for a negotiation. Your agent will be negotiating on your behalf and hopefully, they’ll have experience in this process to ensure you get the best terms for your situation.
Unless an offer is from the first showing that went through or insultingly low, it’s usually best to negotiate. Most sales will end up somewhere in the middle between the initial offer and the list price but the price isn’t the only thing that can be negotiated. You can put almost anything into a purchase contract. The main things to consider are:
- Included Items – anything from a coffee table to a cat.
- Possession Date
- Deposits – this will form part of the down payment but the higher the deposit, the more serious the buyer.
- Conditions – items that need to be met to have a firm sale such as financing, home inspection, condo document review, or a sale of the buyer’s home.
- Contract expiry – offers are only open for a limited amount of time. Usually, you can sleep on it but you can’t hold on for days or weeks to see if something better comes along.
If you don’t deal with contracts in your daily life, ask your agent for a blank purchase contract ahead of time so you can become familiar with the details before you pull the trigger later. You’ll find there are a lot of blanks to be filled in (names, price, dates, conditions) and room to modify things.
Once you have successfully negotiated the terms of the offer, your home will be “conditionally sold”. During this time you can continue to advertise (which we usually recommend just in case the conditions are not waived) or you can advertise it as conditionally sold which will likely stop or at least slow down the number of showing requests you’ll receive.