When Should You Accept Or Reject An Offer On Your Home When Selling Without An Agent?
By Sean Bryant
You officially have an offer on your home. All the hard work of getting it ready to sell, making sure it’s priced properly and marketing it to potential buyers without the help of an agent has paid off. Now it’s time to decide if you’re going to accept the buyer’s offer or reject it.
So, what all goes into making this important decision? We’re going to walk you through everything you should consider when deciding what to do with a pending offer on your home.
When To Accept An Offer
If you receive an offer on your home, you have a big decision ahead of you. Do you accept the offer or take other steps? Here are some scenarios you should always consider accepting:
You’ve Found A New House
If you’re selling your home, there’s a good chance you’re looking at new homes to purchase as well. If you’ve found your dream home and are ready to buy, then it makes sense to accept any strong offers. A lot of people will need the proceeds from the sale to cover the down payment on their new house. This makes accepting even more necessary.
It’s The Slow Season
Depending on your location, the hot buying season usually takes place from May to September. Let’s be realistic, not many people want to purchase a home and move in the upper Midwest during January. If you find yourself selling during the winter months and you receive an offer, you should consider accepting. It’s hard to tell if you’ll get another offer until spring.
You Receive A Strong Offer Early
“One of the most common mistakes sellers make, especially those without an agent, is to pass on strong, early offers,” says James McGrath, Co-founder of New York City real estate brokerage, Yoreevo. “The rationale is if you’re getting such a good offer right off the bat, there must be more behind them. However, if you think about who is showing up to the first and second open house, it’s buyers that are actively looking for properties like yours and are taking the time to see it. In other words, the most serious buyers show up early.
Your Home Has Been On The Market For Several Months
The longer a home is on the market, the more it looks like there is something wrong with it. If your home has been on the market for 2 or 3 months or even longer, it might make sense to accept any good offers that come in.
When The Buyer Is Willing To Pay All Closing Costs
“You may run into a situation where you have multiple offers and you’re stuck deciding which offer to choose,” says Sacha Ferrandi, founder of Source Capital Funding. “A good way to determine which offer to move forward with is seeing which buyer is willing to pay the closing costs. This will determine which buyer is serious about moving forward and will make the decision and selling process that much easier for you.”
You’re Struggling With A Major Life Event
If you’re going through a major life event like a divorce or job relocation, then accepting an offer on your home might be the best option. If not, you could find yourself in a position where you are paying the mortgage on two different homes.
When To Reject An Offer
When you list your home for sale, you’re hoping to receive strong offers as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Occasionally, you’ll receive offers that are less than appealing. Here are a few instances where it makes sense to reject a buyer’s offer.
Financing Not Set Up
If a potential buyer puts in an offer for your home but they’re not preapproved for a mortgage and don’t plan to pay cash, this is a big red flag. Serious buyers will have financing set up before starting their home search or it can lead to significant delays in closing.
When A Buyer Isn’t Willing To Negotiate
“Negotiating numbers is a big part of the selling process and sometimes buyers are just not willing to budge,” adds Ferranndi. “If you feel your house has the potential to sell at a higher price than the offer the buyer has presented, consider rejecting their offer.”
Too Many Concessions
During the selling process, it’s normal for a potential buyer to ask for certain concessions. However, when these asks start getting out of control, you might want to consider moving on and finding a new buyer. Some unreasonable concessions might be asking you to pay all the closing costs or installing new windows.
Making The Decision
Ultimately, the decision to accept or reject an offer is up to you, but thinking through some of these scenarios can help you decide if it’s the right offer for you.