Here are five scenarios where the first offer is the one you’ll want to accept:
- When the timing is right. Timing is everything in real estate, and if your home is on the market too long, people will assume there’s something wrong with it. If you get an offer in the early days of putting your home on the market, it’s important to consider it because playing the waiting game easily backfires once the listing is deemed older.
- When it’s a cash offer. The highest price isn’t necessarily the best deal, but a cash offer can make for a much smoother transaction.
- When you’ve got a limited buyer pool. It may be that your property is valued particularly high or maybe it’s got a unique curb appeal, but homes that don’t appeal to the general public can be trickier to sell.
- When you’re pressed for time. Communicate your motivations for the move to your real estate agent. He or she should be able to market the property to secure the best price possible quickly, while also keeping an eye out for offers that don’t seem serious to avoid the potential for a deal that falls through.
- When you’ve already found your next home. Sometimes it’s a strain to pay two mortgages at once, and other times it’s financially impossible. You certainly don’t have to accept a low-ball offer simply to get a house off your hands, but that first offer shouldn’t be anything you scoff at.
When you do receive an offer, consider all the contingencies involved, and ask your agent if there are any red flags. If the buyer isn’t preapproved by a lender, for example, there’s a greater chance the deal could fail. Your local multiple listing service will still note the previous days on market, which immediately makes your property appear less desirable as buyers wonder why it's been available for so long. But red flags aside, don’t get greedy about offers or compare your home to other houses that sold on your street. After all, it takes is one offer to sell a home.