Negotiating an Offer To-Do List


The buyer starts the negotiations by making an offer on your home, but as a seller you set the tone for the process. Focus on the facts, such as the research that went into your price, keep calm no matter what and always keep your goals in mind. Check these items off your to-do list as you move forward.

When you receive an offer, ask to see a lender’s prequalification letter if a copy doesn’t accompany the offer. If it is a cash offer, ask for a proof of funds.

Respond to the buyer within 24 to 72 hours.

Negotiate in person if possible. Reading the buyer’s body language could be important.

Ask the buyers how they arrived at the price. When you counter, present your own market data or appraisal.

Even if you are only negotiating on price, be sure to respond to each element of the offer to show there are some parts you accept.

Pay attention to the dates in the contract. Taking 30 days to get a loan commitment is not unusual. Generally, a buyer has a week to have the home inspection and to respond.

Have your real estate attorney review all contract language and disclosures.