Let’s assume that you have had your home on the market for just one week. Your asking price is $525,000. Your agent calls to present an offer that a buyer has just made on your home. Of course, you are delighted to hear the news.
The amount of the offer is $515,000. Since this is the first bid on your home in the short market time of one week, you feel certain that there will be many more if this sale does not go through. Your reply to the buyer is that you have decided to hold out for your list price of $525,000. The buyer chooses not to pay your figure and continues to look at other homes.
The weeks go past with no other offers in sight. After a period of two months on the market, you begin to wonder if you should have been more willing to negotiate that initial offer with a little bit more flexibility. You ask your Realtor to see if the original buyer has found another house yet, but the buyer has already moved into another home in your area.
In an effort to get some new interest in your house, you decide to drop the price to $520,000. A few weeks later another buyer submits an offer of $505,000. Because you have been trying to sell your home for over three months, you are getting rather tired of the whole situation and decide to counter this offer with a figure of $515,000. The buyer, who knows your home has been for sale for a while, agrees to split the difference at $510,000. Reluctantly, you settle for $510,000 as your sales price, $5000 less than the initial offer that first week on the market.
Though the Naperville real estate market has been very hot in 2021, this scenario is not at all unusual in a typical market. It is normal to feel that other offers are just around the corner when you get an offer shortly after putting your home up for sale. Ironically, however, the first can often be the best offer you will receive. The longer your home remains on the market, the less likely you are to be in a strong bargaining position when an offer comes along. The first offer is usually made by someone who has exhausted the inventory and has been waiting for your type of house to become available.
ADVICE: Don’t ignore the first offer; be willing to negotiate. Listen to your Realtor. They have been through this scenario before and will guide you if you let them. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you begin in negotiations, it is where you end up, and a good Realtor certainly knows how to maximize the opportunity.