Getting Prepared to Present the Offer

Once you have a written offer in hand, your next negotiating challenge is to get the sellers to accept it. As with many things in life, success rests largely upon sound preparation.

  1. Update your comparable market analysis. Extract new data on list prices, sale prices, and terms for comparable properties in the area, especially if the property has been on the market for more than 30 days.
  2. Examine buyer qualifications. Buyer eligibility is just as important as the price and terms of an offer. Sellers won't take their home off the market without some assurance that the buyer can perform. Have details about downpayments and loan prequalification.
  3. Choose a venue. Select a time when all parties who need to approve the offer can be present and a place with minimal distractions. Your office gives you access to files and copying facilities; other experts suggest the sellers’ home, but only after the children are in bed.
  4. Anticipate objections. View the pros and cons of the offer from the sellers’ point of view. Gather the information you'll need to respond to objections—market analysis, seller's net sheet, etc.
  5. Estimate sellers’ costs. Calculate probable closing costs—mortgage payoff, attorney’s fees, transfer taxes, tax and utility prepayments, and your commission—so that sellers can see what they will ultimately realize from the sale.

Source: Excerpted from Successful Strategies for Real Estate Agents, by Floyd Wickman ( Executive Press, 1987).

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