Determining whether you should accept your next offer is one of the challenges of selling your Andover, MN Home. You may have questions like “How do I know if this is a competitive offer?” and “What should I consider before accepting an offer?” Here at the Guiding You Home Team with Keller Williams Classic Realty, we are here to help you navigate the home selling process. If you’ve been asking yourself how to evaluate your next offer, we’ve got you covered with these 7 tips.

Market Type

There are two main categories in the housing market. One is a buyer’s market, where there are typically more homes on the market than buyers. In this type of market, buyers have the upper hand when it comes to purchase price as they have a variety of homes to choose from. In a buyer’s market, sellers will be more likely to accept offers below purchase price and even agree to pay up to 3% of the closing costs. On the flip side, a seller’s market is where there are less homes available on the market for buyers to choose from. In this type of market, there are typically less homes for sale limiting a buyer’s options. Sellers have more control over pricing due to less inventory on the market for buyers. A seller’s market will result in more competition on each home for sale — driving up purchase prices and decreasing the opportunity for the buyers to negotiate the seller paying the buyers closing costs. As of April 2019, we are in a seller’s market with sellers paying a portion or all of the closing costs in around 40% of house sales. When evaluating a buyer’s offer, make sure what they are asking for aligns with the current state of the housing market.

Appraisal Value

An appraisal is determined when an unbiased inspector examines the house for sale and gives an estimate of how much it is worth. The report is based off the market, homes in the neighborhood, square footage, year built, home amenities, foundation structure, the condition of the home, and appearance. An appraisal is important because it determines how much the mortgage lender will be willing to finance for the buyer and the overall fair price for the seller. The home must be accurately appraised for the sale to go through and for a mortgage to be approved. Understanding the fair market value of your home will help you evaluate each offer and create realistic expectations on your sale price.

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Price and Closing Costs

A fair and realistic price are affected by the changing housing market. The Guiding You Home Team can help you make the best estimates when it comes to determining a reasonable price of the home. Closing costs can make a difference in the overall cost, depending on the type of market. Check with your real estate agent to determine what costs to include when setting your listing price. 

Financing Type

The buyer’s choice of loan type is important when the value of the home is evaluated. Different loan types or financing types have different requirements for the appraisal. The four main types are Conventional, FHA, DVA, and cash. Cash is king. Cash offers go through smoothly without much trouble in most cases. A conventional loan has fixed rates. Because they require larger down payments and higher credit scores, it can be the most difficult to apply for. 

FHA loans, as provided by the Federal Housing Administration, have lower down payments and is a great option for first-time buyers. The downside is that there will be insurance payments tacked onto every mortgage payment, making each payment higher than payments on a conventional loan. There are also many requirements that have to be met to be approved of this loan, so be sure to talk with the Guiding You Home Team before applying for a loan. DVA loans, extended by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, are great for veterans because there is typically no down payment required and the government covers the insurance payments. If you apply for this type of loan, talk with the Guiding You Home Team because there are very specific requirements to receiving this loan. Tiffany Larson, founder of the Guiding You Home Team is also a Veteran of the USAF and personally experienced in financing home purchases using DVA loans. 

A factor to consider with government funded loans, such as FHA and DVA, is that once an appraisal has been recorded, a case number is assigned to the property. The recorded appraised value is tied to that property for 6-months for the particular financing type. This is important in a sellers’ market were multiple offers drive up prices increasing the risk of low appraisals. In addition to price, the appraiser will also evaluate safety and improvement issues.  Any repairs and/or conditions must be repaired in order to meet the requirements for the loan and proceeding with the sale. Check with the Guiding You Home Team for information on which financing types you can consider when selling your home. 

Closing Date

When selecting a closing date there a few things to consider such as financing type, down payment assistance program requirements, buyer lease terms, date for closing of the buyers back up property, and weather the seller has already chosen a home to purchase.  Depending on the state of the market, flexibility on closing date can make or break the deal. It is important to make sure that each party involved has enough time to have options for proceeding with the sale. Talk with your real estate agent to find out what time works best for your situation.

Buyer Letters

Some buyers might try to persuade the seller with what commonly referred to as, “love letters.” The buyer will introduce themselves, offer pictures, and try to appeal to the seller. Your real estate agent is required to show every document regarding the sale of the house to the seller, but these letters shouldn’t influence the sale to maintain the integrity of the sale. It is best to go with the most financially stable candidate to ensure the sale goes through. If you have any concerns with buyer letters, talk with the Guiding You Home Team to find the best buyer for your home.

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Contingencies

A contingency is a requirement or condition that must be met before the sale of the house goes through. Most contingencies are based around whether or not the buyer’s current property sells within a specified time frame. Another common contingency is based on inspection. The buyer can request an inspection from a third party to check the systems and structure of the home. 

Contingent offers should be considered carefully before accepting. The buyer’s previous property should be listed at a reasonable price that aligns with the market. The contingent offer should be written such that the seller can’t refuse. Check with the Guiding You Home Team for more information contingencies. 

For any real estate situation, the Guiding You Home team at Keller Williams Classic Realty is ready to help. Give us a call or check out the rest of our website for more information.