Whether your house has been on the market for a day or a year, we believe that you should respond to every offer. Why? I just witnessed a textbook example. A home that has been sitting on the market since last summer peeked the interest of some Aria Realty buyer clients. The location was great and it was in the neighborhood they were after. They knew the home had sat on the market when a previous seller had it listed as well. As friends of the neighbors, they had heard why. It had a layout that wasn’t for most buyers and although it had a couple updates, still needed some to please most families.
After watching it for some time, we finally went to see the house… along with a remodeler who could quickly give us an idea of the cost of these improvements to the home. No one wants to buy a bad investment and these buyers wanted to make sure that they were protected on the resale end in addition to making the home work for them now. Ideas were thrown around and we came up with a plan. The builder came up with an estimate to complete this plan. We thought we could make this home work and protect their investment.
We spent a lot of time working on an offer. We carefully looked at what homes were selling for in the neighborhood as well as nearby neighborhoods that had the same price & quality of homes and were in the same school district. These were homes selling in a reasonable amount of time. Working backwards from what we believed the home would be worth with the necessary changes, we worked up an offer on the home equal to this figure less the cost of these changes. We presented the offer kindly with a kind explanation of how we had come to to this figure. We allowed extra time for them to consider the offer since we knew it would be a hard swallow for any of us if we were in the seller’s position. They waited until time had nearly run out to “decline”.
Without any dialogue with the sellers, the buyers moved on. The sellers have now reduced the price of the home significantly, well within a range that the buyers would have been open to negotiating. They will never know that because they never opened the dialogue before responding. Even if the over was not presented with facts and reasoning, I would have recommended a response for this reason. Instead, they have lost a ready, willing, and able buyer to another home. It worked out great for the Aria Realty client because they are thrilled with what we found next. The sellers, on the other hand, are left paying countless additional mortgage payments and continuing to deal with the stress of selling their home when they need to be moving on.
If you receive an offer, respond to start a dialogue. Have your agent create a friendly working relationship with the other party’s agent so that necessary information can shared rather than lost. Even if you receive an offer for a fraction of your asking price, always respond, even if it’s a counter-offer at the asking price. Find out what is behind the offer. It could very well be nice, honest people open to working something out.