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What Happens After You Get An Offer On Your Home?

San Diego is a booming real estate market. Rising prices have shattered two records already in 2017.

San Diego County home prices hit an average of $515,000 in April — the highest price in a decade — the San Diego Union Tribune reported. Two months later, the U-T reported another broken record, this time the average home price increased to $530,000.

Simple logic dictates that these records will eventually stop breaking and the market will cool, however; economists are unsure when the Southern California and San Diego real estate market will slow down. Some argue that the forecast is already bad. However, that position is belied by numerous reports of broken pricing records.

Regardless, now is the time to cash in on your investment and upgrade to a new home. This article will go over the steps once you receive an offer on your property. What does an offer mean? How do you negotiate? Are you stuck in the deal now?

What Is A Home Offer?

An offer on your home is not an ironclad contract. The offer is simply the opening bid which you can accept, reject, or counter-offer, setting the stage for back and forth haggling. The offer is also not exclusive. You can and may even receive multiple offers on your home on which you can negotiate.

Finally, no matter what the buyer says, you never have to accept an offer to purchase your home. You can choose to accept any home offer you'd like — or none at all. If you receive two offers, you are not required to accept the one for higher money if you like the lower bid more. Maybe you like that the lower purchase price is a cash offer, or maybe you like that they have a family. You ultimately choose to whom you sell your home, and for what price.

What Is A Counter Offer?

Presumably, you are happy you got an offer but that it isn’t what you want. Perhaps the purchase offer wasn't quite your list price, or the buyer wants the purchase contract to be contingent on selling her current home. As the seller, you have the option to counter offer. 

When you counter offer, you will do two things: accept some of the terms of the offer, and propose counter offer terms. For instance, maybe you accept that the buyer will take the points or cover the taxation on the sale but you want a higher price, a later closing date, or maybe you don’t want to offer a “home purchase contract contingency.” Contingencies are common with a buyer who already owns a home. A contingency means that the sale of your property depends on the buyer’s ability to sell his original house.

How an Agent can help Secure A Higher Offer

Real estate agents can guide you through the process and take care of the negotiating aspects. For example, when you hire a real estate agent you are asking them to sell your home from marketing it to closing the deal. That means your real estate agent has already cleaned up your property, hosted walk-throughs, marketed the house, and tapped into her network to get you this offer. Now that you have an offer, you can also tap into the knowledge of that real estate agent regarding market conditions and pricing.

One of the biggest advantages of working with a real estate agent is haggling. Unless you are one of the rare Americans who is comfortable haggling, this is probably one of your few experiences negotiating a deal. Real estate agents haggle every day which multiplies your negotiating power. Remember, the offer is simply an opening bid. You are not bound to accept that first number. Real estate agents can use their knowledge of the market to extract a fair price for your property.

Real estate agents can help you get the best price for your home. According to NAR, sales by homeowners were about $185,000 compared to $240,000 for homes that were sold through an agent. Homeowners reported a variety of issues in trying to sell their property including:

  • Understanding the paperwork and contracts;
  • Selling within their deadline;
  • Getting the price they wanted;
  • Preparing the home for sale; and
  • Having the time to develop the sale.

Real estate agents buy and sell homes every day. They understand the process and the paperwork and can make this process easier on you. At Steele San Diego Homes, our agents can help you get the right price, in the right timeframe. Selling your home is an exhilarating and enjoyable experience, at least it can be if you have the right help. 

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