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Should I accept a low offer or counter?

We placed our home on the market just 2 weeks ago. We live in an area where it usually takes about 6 months or more to sell a home but the prices are still raising and there are literally NO foreclosures.(Thanks to a rental housing shortage by our military base. So if you cannot sell you can rent and makes hundreds per month.) 

We just purchased our home 3 years ago so we have not paid much off.  That left us with only $5000 wiggle room to negotiate with after all fees are paid to our realtor, attorneys, etc when we chose our listing price. 

So 2 weeks after listing we got an offer to where we walk away paying about $1000 at closing.  We have already put about $10,000 into the house that we will lose. We have redone it and priced it to sell. Should we just accept the offer and pay just a small $1000 more to get out of a $180k loan? Or should we counter just a few thousand dollars more and risk losing the contract so that we at least recoop and walk away with something?

Thanks in advance.
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October 29 2012 - Fort Drum
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Best Answer

It is important to be very actively discussing this with your Realtor, and to know your exact financial position with your mortgage holder.

The options I see are almost the same:
accept, reject, counter, or do nothing. I recently had a seller wait and not respond, so my client rescinded the offer after a week.
Each option has its pros and cons, and since you described the market in your area, you likely know what you are dealing with. It sounds like you got an offer on your house when the average sale is taking close to 6 months. If you have an otherwise solid offer and are concerned that it may be a a few months before you get another, that may help clarify which decision is better for you financially. There is a saying that a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush- or that a qualified offer in hand that meets your objectives is better than the hope of something better that may not come along in time. It is your decision, and based on your ( and your Realtor's) research of what is probable, not just possible in your scenario.


Evelyn

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October 29 2012
Thanks for posting your question on Zillow.com!

I am involved with this often, we usually counter and if the buyer walks, you can always have your Realtor go back and accept the original counter.  No harm, no foul.

Best of luck!
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October 30 2012
Profile picture for user4579135
Thank you everyone.  I think we are just going to have to swallow our pride on this one.  We bought this home planning on staying and invested a lot of money. But the military has other plans for us.  I think we will just have to walk away paying even more money out of pocket. A hard pill to swallow but it will be worth it in the long run when we are no longer worried about having our home when the military moves us. Thank you for all of your responses. They were all great!
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October 30 2012
I would counter a few thousand higher. Unfortunately real estate is somewhat a game. Not sure what your asking is but most all buyers will try and get a home as low as they can just as a seller will typically sell for as much as they can get.

Although you are motivated I would counter and I'm sure they will come back, worst they can do is come back at the same offer they started with. 

I would definitely get your realtors feedback on how he/she feels with the buyers actions :)

Good Luck, I'm sure it will work out great!
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October 29 2012
You really have to weigh your options and see if this $1000 is worth buying you way out of a problem. Upgrades are gambles and don't necessarily equate to cash return on your investments. If you sat and held out for 6 months you would have mortgage payments , insurance , utilities, X 6. There is no guarantee the house will sell. Those things will add up to or close to the $11000 in question. If you rented , you are still on the hook for a mortgage and depending on your mortgage payment, concessions, you could break even or make a couple of hundred dollars a month. Until a major repair. Then you start pulling out of your 9-5 to support your new rental property.
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October 29 2012
Congratulations!!! The offer sounds great and based on the terms and information you have posted, I offer the following reccomendations:
1. Look and see how they are paying for the loan to buy your property:
    A. If CASH, the bank statement should clearly identify the amount of available funds in their bank account.
    B. If Financing, the Pre-Approval amount should be disclosed on the letter. 
2. Depending on where you would like to be in NET PROCEEDS, analyze the 2 options carefully and counter only what is available or relatively close as per the information found in answer 1.
3. The buyer will also counter/accept/reject your offer, if the number is not what you need or what you are looking for, you can reject the offer. Counter what you need, if the buyer accepts, at least you know you received what you wanted.
4. With any offer you have 3 options, accept the offer, counter the offer, or reject the offer.
5. If you reject the offer and hold out for a new offer(s), note you may not get what you are looking for exactly, and depending on your time frame, how quickly would you like to sell your home and move forward?

6. Be careful and weigh your options carefully. Your realtor should be able to provide recent comparable sales in the neighborhood that have closed to help guide you in this decision.
7. Consult your attorney for advice.


If you need further assistance, please feel free to call me.
Have a God Blessed Wonderful Day!!!!
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October 29 2012
First, if you have a Sellers' Agent, you should be having this discussion with him/her.  If you don't have one, our advice is that the first offer is usually the best, when the offer is so close to a Seller's needs.
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October 29 2012
While prices are starting to pick up, this sounds like a fantastic offer, however I am not in your shoes, so my opinion maybe different from yours.  If you truly believe you could get a little more, maybe try for a additional $1000.  But from where I sit again this sounds like a good offer.  I wish you the best of luck and hope things work out for you and your family.
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October 29 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
It sounds like you have an offer that is about 97% of your asking price.  That is normally considered a fantastic offer, especially if homes are really taking six months or more to sell in your area.   You could counter perhaps $2000 higher so you don't have to take money to closing, and can afford a nice meal after you close.
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October 29 2012
 
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