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Step 5 - The Sale

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There is no question that selling a home is an important event. A home sale represents transition, movement and change. Households move from the known and comfortable to the unknown and a period of adjustment. There may be job changes, new schools, distance from old friends and the possibility of new ones.

No less important, a home sale by itself can be complex. There will be people looking at your house, documents to sign and issues to be negotiated.

Because a home sale involves an array of both personal and business concerns, it's important to get it done right. You need to carefully prepare your home, understand the market and see what alternatives are realistically available.

What's An Acceptable Offer?
The goal of every seller is to have a line of buyers outside the front door, each clutching higher and higher offers. While this has been known to happen, in most markets there is generally a balance between the number of buyers and sellers. A number of factors determine whether a buyer's offer is acceptable, including if the offer is near the asking price or has clauses hidden in the contract and if the seller can wait for more offers.

In each case, owners, with assistance from their REALTOR®, will need to carefully review offers, consider marketplace options and then determine whether an offer is acceptable.

What Is A Counter-Offer?

When a home is made available for sale, the owner is essentially making the offer to buyers that for a given number of dollars and other terms you can acquire this home. Buyers, in turn, can respond disinterest, agreement to the seller’s terms, or a counter-offer.

A counter-offer is nothing more than a new offer. And just as the buyer had three options in response to the owner's original price and terms, the seller can now choose one of three reactions: accept the offer, decline the offer or make a fresh counter-offer.

Offers and counter-offers reflect the back-and-forth activity of the marketplace. It's an efficient and practical process but also one that may contain tricky clauses and hidden costs. The REALTOR® who lists your home can explain the local bargaining process in detail and assist in the actual negotiations.

How Do You Negotiate?

It's sometimes argued that negotiation must produce one "winner" and one "loser." Others suggest that a "win/win" situation is possible where each side gets something of value. In actuality, real estate bargaining typically involves compromises by both sides. It's not war; it's not winner-take-all; and it's not the time to take personally any comments made by purchasers.

Instead, negotiating should be seen as a natural business process; buyers should be treated with respect; and owners should never lose sight of either their best interests or their baseline transaction requirements.


Are you looking to move or just curious? We've got you covered an overview of the process. However, contact a REALTOR® today for more details.

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Enhancing Property Ownership is brought to you by the Georgia REALTORS®. We are a non profit organization made of REALTORS® that fights for the rights of all property owners by operating under a strict Code of Ethics.




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Click the link below to find a Georgia REALTOR®. REALTORS® are members of the national, state, and local Association of REALTORS® and  follow a strict code of ethics to ensure your rights are protected.

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