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How to Handle Multiple Offers on Your House

When selling a home, especially in a good market, it is not uncommon to have more than one offer on a property. When more than one offer is made, it is important for the seller to know how to handle the sale in order to avoid legal issues, and to get the best price and terms for the home sale.

Setting Yourself Up for Multiple Offers

1. Get a Home Inspection

When selling a home, it is very important to first order an independent home inspection. This is paramount as it can help the seller avoid legal issues, or the fall-through of a sale later on. A home inspection will help the seller become more knowledgeable about any issues in the home that need to be addressed prior to selling. These issues may be fixed at the expense of the seller, or the price may be reduced to reflect the repairs needed. If the homeowner elects not to make repairs, full disclosure will be required with each prospective buyer.

2. Set the Right Price

Next, based on the results of the home inspection and neighborhood property values, the seller must decide on a base selling price. This base price is the lowest amount that the homeowner deems acceptable for the sale of the home. This base price will make the consideration of multiple offers much easier, as those offers below the base price will not be considered. The seller will also want to consider working with a real estate agent.

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Managing Multiple Offers

A real estate agent is an ally for the seller. The agent can help the seller avoid legal problems and confusion in dealing with multiple offers. Agents are well versed in home selling issues such as earnest money and contracts. This agent can also help the seller wade through the terms and conditions of offers being presented. In exchange, the seller will owe the agent a commission, but this is well worth the cost in the long run.

When considering multiple offers, it is important that both the seller and the agent are honest with prospective home buyers. The agent should disclose any problems found in the inspection and whether or not these issues were addressed. In addition, if the bid is too low, the agent should let the prospective buyer know that their offer is not being considered.

If the homeowner is considering multiple offers it is important to let the prospective buyers know as well. It is, however, important to take care to not reveal the offer details or any other personal information about other prospective buyers. This can lead to lawsuits later or hinder the sale of the home, as prospective buyers and other agents will shy away from this property when word gets out that confidentiality is not maintained.

Finally, be aware that the sale of the home may not come at the maximum market supported price. Discuss reasonable offers with the agent, and if a home offer is sound and reasonable, meets the seller’s requirements and has good terms, it should be seriously considered.


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