Evaluating Offers: A Seller’s Comprehensive Guide

  • 11 months ago
  • Blog


Receiving an offer on your property is an exciting moment in the home-selling process. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the offer aligns with your goals and requirements. This blog post will take you through the steps of evaluating offers passively, focusing on price, conditions, the buyer’s seriousness, and the decision-making process with the guidance of your REALTOR®.

  1. Price Assessment

The price offered is often the initial focal point for sellers, as it significantly influences their return on investment. Nevertheless, it’s essential to remember that other factors deserve consideration beyond the offered amount.

In some cases, a slightly lower offer without complications may be preferable. For example, an offer that includes a bank draft and is firm without financing contingencies can be more attractive than a higher offer that is conditional on securing a mortgage. This firmness demonstrates the buyer’s commitment and minimizes the risk of the deal falling through.

  1. Reviewing Contingencies

Conditional elements within an offer play a crucial role in the evaluation process. Buyers often include contingencies such as:

a. Financing: Buyers may condition their offer on obtaining a mortgage, which introduces the risk of the deal collapsing if they can’t secure financing. In a market with fluctuating interest rates, this risk becomes more prominent. Thus, an unconditional, slightly lower offer might be a more secure option for sellers.

b. Inspection: Offers can also be contingent on property inspections. However, sellers should weigh the potential risks of inspection contingencies. If a major issue arises during the inspection, the deal may fall apart, and the property will return to the market, potentially impacting future offers.

c. Closing Date: Offers may propose closing dates that don’t align with the seller’s preferences. In such cases, sellers can explore options like a “rent-back” arrangement, allowing them to remain in the property for a specified period after the sale. Alternatively, bridge financing or short-term rentals can provide flexibility.

  1. Condo Status Certificate Review

For those selling condos, potential buyers often require a review of the condo corporation’s financial and administrative health. Sellers should be prepared to provide these documents or expect this condition in the offer. Having these documents readily available can lead to more firm offers, as buyers can make informed decisions.

  1. Identifying the Offeror

Sellers should consider whether the offer comes from an individual or a corporation. Corporate buyers may have limited liability for damages, which can affect recourse options in case of disputes. Additionally, some sellers may prefer knowing if the offer is from a family or a developer, as it may influence their feelings about the property’s future use.

  1. Assessing Buyer’s Seriousness

The seriousness of the buyer is often indicated by various factors:

a. Deposit Amount: A higher-than-average deposit or a deposit check attached to the offer can signify a committed buyer. Such buyers are usually eager to proceed with the transaction, potentially allowing for more flexibility or negotiation.

b. Personal Letter: Some buyers provide personal letters explaining their reasons for wanting to purchase the property. These letters reveal the buyer’s emotional attachment and commitment to the purchase, making them attractive prospects for sellers.

  1. Evaluating Market Value

Sellers should consider whether their property is priced competitively. In a balanced market, the first offer may often be a strong one. However, if the property sits on the market for several weeks, subsequent offers might be lower as buyers speculate about the reasons behind the delay.

  1. Accepting, Countering, or Rejecting the Offer

After a thorough evaluation, sellers can choose from three options:

a. Accept: If the offer aligns with their requirements and has met all conditions, sellers can proceed with the sale.

b. Counteroffer: Sellers can respond with a counteroffer if they seek adjustments to the price or conditions. Negotiations continue until both parties reach an agreement or decide to reject without further counters.

c. Reject: Outright rejection may not always be the best strategy. Even lowball offers can be a starting point for negotiation. Cultural differences in negotiation styles should also be considered.


Evaluating offers for your property requires careful consideration of various factors. Your REALTOR® plays a vital role in providing guidance and context during this process. By passively assessing price, conditions, buyer seriousness, and other relevant aspects, you can make informed decisions that align with your goals and optimize your home-selling experience. Remember, the path to a successful sale often involves thoughtful evaluation and negotiation with the support of a qualified real estate professional.

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