Offers and Negotiations: Tips for Home Sellers

Offers and Negotiations

Congratulations! You’ve got an offer! Don’t pop the champagne quite yet — now’s the time to analyze the offer with your real estate attorney to make sure it’s in line with your comfort level. In other words, make sure it works for you before signing on the dotted line.

Keep Your Cool

This may be your home, but it is also a business transaction. If you look at it in that light, it will be a lot easier to see the deal with a cooler head.

Keep a few things in mind in order to keep your blood pressure down:

  • You’re doing this for a reason. You likely need to sell your home. You may be under pressure to do so. If this is the right path for you, then keeping your cool will help you accomplish this in as bloodless and easy a manner as possible.
  • This is business to the real estate investor. He or she means no personal harm or insult. They’re just in it to win it — so you should be as well.
  • Remember your bottom line. Be prepared to walk away if you’re not getting what you need.

It’s not always easy to keep your cool, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Know Your Rights

While your rights as a seller may vary by state, there are certain consistent across-the-board entitlements. These include:

  • Setting a reasonable price
  • Requesting and providing a home inspection
  • Accepting or rejecting an offer
  • Negotiating for a deposit or settlement statement — though in the case of selling to an investor, you will likely receive cash.

You also have the right to take legal action if you feel your rights have been violated. However, in order to avoid this in the first place, it’s best to consult with a real estate attorney during the process rather than scrambling for justice after the fact.

Come Informed

A seller’s responsibility is to be as informed as possible about the process as it’s occurring. This means educating yourself as much as possible before even seeking out an investor and then continuing to do your due diligence throughout the process, particularly as an offer rolls in. A few tips on doing this:

  • Ask the right questions. You need to know about investor experience, local know-how, and his or her plans for your property.
  • Know your walk-away point. Deals break down. It happens. There’s no harm in moving on to find a more suitable partner in this endeavor.
  • Don’t be afraid to get opinions from others — agents as well as friends and acquaintances who have been through similar experiences. All wisdom helps.

Remember, they say knowledge is power. And for once, they were right.

Work with Your Attorney to Sharpen Contract

One of the most powerful resources on your side is your real estate attorney (and you DID hire one, yes?). Your attorney is your advocate throughout the sales process, and particularly when it comes to drafting the agreement between you and the investor buying your property.

Here’s how you’ll work with your attorney to get the contract you want:

  • Consult with him or her so that they understand your situation and individual needs.
  • Clarify language and terms so that nothing is unclear.
  • Write the purchase agreement — the contract’s single most important section.
  • Do a title search to ensure that it is free and clear.
  • Handle the closing of the transaction.

Legal documents require legal knowledge. Writing your purchase contract is not something you should do on your own.