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Whether it is a seller's market or you just have an appealing home, you could end up with multiple offers -- how can you decide which offer is best? Your agent is an excellent source of information and can help widdle through unqualified buyers, but if you still have to choose between multiple offers, here's what to consider.
Understand fair market value:You should know what to expect and what a fair offer looks like -- your agent can help you discover what the fair market value is for your home. If there are any mitigating factors (you have been relocated at work or you need to move quickly) they could impact the decision-making process more than price.
Preapprovals in place: If you have multiple offers, the buyer with a preapproval in place has an edge. This signals that not only is the buyer interested in the home, but they are able to pay for it. It also indicates that the closing can move swiftly, since this key element is in place. A higher offer without preapproval could end up falling through if the buyer is unable to secure a mortgage.
Payment method: In many cases, the type of mortgage the buyer is getting won't matter -- you'll get the funds at closing either way. If you are in a hurry, though, a cash buyer can move more swiftly than one with a conventional mortgage. Buyers using non-conventional mortgages like USDA loans may also encounter delays, as these can take more time to process.
Timeline:What do the buyers propose as a closing date? Too soon and you'll have to rush to get your own things moved out -- and may end up under pressure to move. Too late and you'll feel like you are waiting forever and living between two homes -- your next, new home and the one you need to sell.
Contingencies: A contingency for financing, appraisal or inspection is common, but too many contingencies or unusual requests could mean you're in for a problematic closing process. Consider any contingencies the buyer is demanding before deciding which offer is right for you to avoid surprises later in the process.
Special requests: Are there any unusual requests, or does one buyer want more than others? A buyer who wants you to leave kitchen appliances is reasonable (and most expect these to convey). One who wants your heirloom furniture or outdoor equipment may be asking for more than you want to sell. You should be aware of and consider any special requests when you review offers for your home.
Having to choose between more than one offer puts you in a great position, but it can still be nerve wracking. Working with an experienced seller's agent to vet the offers and determining which factors matter most to you can help you make the right decision for your home sale.