What Happens When Purchase Offers Come In?

The Offer Process

A lot of this might be review for you – after all, if you are selling your home in Calgary, you have most likely purchased it in the same way and remember what it was like to buy your home!  In case the whole process was just an exciting blur, here is a quick recap of how the offer process generally works.  Of course, there may be exceptions such as Power of Sale, private sales and estate sales that have unique circumstances.  David will be happy to explain any unique elements of a sale to you.

The gates unlocked by Tripp
The gates unlocked by Tripp
  • Prospective buyer shows interest in your property & communicates this to their agent
  • Their agent draws up an offer to purchase your home
  • The buyer's agent communicates the offer to you, with David present as your advocate
  • Offer presentations can take place in a variety of locations:  your home, our office, a mutually agreeable location
  • The offer will specify certain terms and conditions
  • We will be able to closely examine incoming offers in privacy, to make sure all the terms are satisfactory to you
  • You have three options once you have reviewed an offer:  you can accept the offer, reject it, or submit a counter-offer
  • Counter offers are often called 'sign-backs' and they are desirable in terms of keeping negotiations open.  You might make a counter-offer in reference to the price, the closing date, or any number of other variables
  • The offers can go back and forth until both you and the buyer have agreed on the terms and conditions, or until one party ends the negotiations.

Terms and Conditions

Here are the key elements of an offer that you need to be aware of:

  • Price:  Depending on what price comparable homes for sale are going for, the buyer's strategy, and whether there are competing bids for your home, the price you are offered may be different from your original asking price.
  • Deposit:  The deposit shows the buyer's good faith and will be applied against the down payment when the sale closes.  Usually it is 5% of the purchase price.
  • Financing:  This section shows a breakdown of how the buyer plans to pay for the property.  It's a good indicator of their ability to seal the deal.
  • Conditions:  Qualifiers in the buyer's offer that must be satisfied by you, before a deal is struck.  These might include 'property inspection condition', 'sale of buyer's home condition' or 'financing condition', to name a few examples.  There is also an opportunity for you to list any conditions of your own that must be satisfied by the buyer.
  • Attached and Unattached Goods:  What you will leave behind at the house versus what you'll take with you.  Generally, fixtures such as major appliances are left behind, while chattels (your personal possessions, such as furniture and artwork) are not, unless otherwise stipulated.
  • Closing (Completion Date):  This is the day the title to the property is legally transferred to the buyer.

Tips on Receiving Offers

Once your home is listed on the open market and aggressively advertised, an offer can come in anytime.  Though that is what you wanted – to sell your home – it may feel like everything is moving very fast, if you get an offer a day or two after your home goes up for sale!  It's important to be mentally and emotionally prepared to accept an offer quickly when it meets your criteria.  There may be a tendency to wait and see if you receive more or better offers; sometimes, this points to reluctance to actually part with your home.  That's why it's so important to be fully reconciled to selling your home before you sign the listing agreement.

You will ultimately have to decide what to do, but it is not necessarily safe to assume that there will be a better offer in the future.  Your Calgary Real Estate™ agent will be happy to provide you with guidance on offers and clarify all clauses or terms included in the offer.

If an offer comes in that meets all your requirements, it's good to remember the old 'bird in the hand' saying.  Sometimes properties stay on the market for months because a seller has refused a first offer to wait for a higher one that never comes.  You should definitely have set in your mind what minimum sale amount would be acceptable to you (keeping your closing costs in mind), regardless of your asking price, and know how long you are willing to wait to achieve this if need be.

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