Making the Offer Work

Making the First Offer work should be the title of a new reality series.
There are so many factors going into making an offer work. Sometimes the sellers may ignore or not accept the first offer that comes in because of the lack of seller’s preparation to accept the first offer that comes in. We know that interest on a new listing peaks in the first 2 weeks of being on the market, so why isn’t the seller more adaptable to accepting the first offer? Many times that first offer was superb in retrospect. But the seller wants to see what will happen down the road. Well, down the road could be disappointing.
The second offer may be better, but can fall apart. By then the seller is frustrated by the inspections and questions. Sometimes luck prevails and the first offer buyers are waiting to see what happens. But they are not waiting at the second offer price. They are glad to be considered but at the price at which the seller had initially accepted their offer. So what should the seller do?

Is the listed price the right price? A REALTOR® can give you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of the home’s value, or you can check local listings to see what similar properties sold for. Based on the home inspection, a buyer might also ask for a lower price or repair contingencies if the home needs to be fixed.


As a seller, it’s very important to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Every month a vacant house remains unsold represents considerable expense for the seller.
  • If the sellers are divorcing, they may just want out quickly. This may make buyers offer lower and hope you will accept it.
  • Estate sales often yield a bargain in return for a prompt deal.

When an offer comes in, a seller can accept it exactly as it stands, refuse it (seldom a useful response), or make a counteroffer with the changes they want. When sellers receive a purchase offer from a would-be buyer, remember that unless they accept it exactly as it stands, unconditionally, the buyer will be free to walk away. Any change the proposed buyer makes in a counteroffer puts the seller at risk of losing that chance to sell.

As soon as both parties accept the written offer, you have a legal contract. Simply understand that sometimes the first offer may be the best one for the seller.


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