These offers, however, along with the time of year and different sectors of the economy that seem to be improving, have given some sellers a distorted view on the proper course of action in cases where the offer is disappointing. Many think that, due to the aforementioned factors, they should hold fast to their list price and consider only a minimal counter offer if any.
Assess the Circumstances
In actuality the seller’s response should be dependent on a number of considerations. Among them are:
- How long has the home been on the market? This is a reflection of the accuracy of the list price.
- How far below list is the buyer's offering from your bottom line? (Would you hit your bottom line if you split the difference between the asking and offering price?)
- What is your plan B if another offer doesn’t come into fruition? (Is your plan B logical or is it unrealistic and based on emotion?)
Remove the Emotion
It’s the Realtor’s responsibility as the listing agent to help you remove the emotion from your decision. That takes skill and acumen. To help you fully comprehend the implications of whatever course of action you decide to take, your Realtor should help you simplify your options. In other words, what will you do if you choose not to negotiate and the buyer moves on with the prospect of your home lingering on the market further? Your decision not to negotiate may make sense if you’re prepared to remain in your home for as long as it takes for the market to “fetch” your price. However, if you are truly motivated to sell, for whatever reason, the consequences of not selling to the buyer at hand need to be fully understood. Waiting may seem like a viable alternative, but is it really? Your first offer is usually your best.
Your Realtor’s Skill Set
This is where the skill of your Realtor comes into play. This is when their fiduciary responsibility is to help you determine if your decision is based on logic or emotion and assumptions that may never happen. This is when you need someone with experience to help you understand that, while a subsequent offer may be at a higher price, it is not high enough to offset the additional carrying costs accrued due to additional market time. Your agent should provide a thorough perspective on the possibilities and guide you in making the most prudent decision. This of course requires that you assist them in gaining a complete understanding of your circumstances. They should then provide you with the same advice that they would follow if they were selling their own home under similar circumstances. After all, this is about you, your investment and your future. It’s not about the needs of anyone else, and your Realtor must always keep that in mind.
Written by Al N. Filippone. For more information about the local real estate market, contact our Darien office at 203.655.5358 or visit our website at afahomes.com.