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Sellers: Should you accept this offer?

There’s more demand for property these days and there are more sales taking place, but prices are not necessarily rising, so it’s a challenge for sellers to know whether to gladly accept an offer to purchase on their property or to hang on for a while and hope for something better.

Unfortunately, it’s also hard for most property owners to detach from the memories their property evokes and view the sale as a purely financial transaction. No offer is ever really going to seem good enough, and this is why they need to lean on the expertise of a trained and reputable agent.

A good agent will tell you honestly what market activity is like in your area at the moment, how long homes are staying on the market before selling, what prices are being achieved and whether they think you will get competing or additional offers if you keep your home on the market for a bit longer.

However, the final decision will always be up to you, so it also helps to do some serious thinking about your financial position and your reasons for selling before you list your home for sale. For example, if you are relocating to another town or country, or you have already bought your next home, you may need to move fast to finalise this sale. And accepting a fair offer is generally the best way to do that, even if it is not as high as you had hoped.

Similarly if you are a “distressed” home owner who must sell because you can no longer afford the bond repayments but would like to keep your credit record intact, it would also be wise to get your agent to negotiate hard but accept a fair offer as soon as possible.

On the other hand, you need to know what your absolute bottom line is – even if you don’t tell anybody else. This is the point at which you would lose money on the deal because you would have to add your own cash to the purchase price in order to pay off your home loan – and risk being unable to purchase your next home for lack of a deposit.

And finally, you should always consider the terms of an offer . It may be spot on in terms of price, but too demanding in terms of when the buyers want to take occupation, or what they expect you to repair or replace as part of the deal. In which instance, if they are not prepared to negotiate at all, your agent may well advise that it is better to decline.


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