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We got an offer. Now what?
A. Well, great! Now you accept it or reject it or counter. This is another area where your Realtor can make a big difference, in this negotiation phase. Money is the obvious point of most contention, but there are others – possession is a biggie, personal property or property that was to be excluded may be another issue. Perhaps the most common issue that causes offers to be rejected (other than a low-ball bid) is a contingency in the offer, most often a clause making the sale contingent upon the successful sale and closing of the buyers current house. In that case it is important to let your Realtor evaluate the situation and advise you. Your Realtor will try to find out how likely the sale of the home in question is within the time frame that is specified in the contingent offer. If the house has been on the market for quite a while already,
he/she will want to understand why it has not sold and what if anything the buyer is now willing to do differently to help it sell within the contingent window. It may well be the case that your Realtor will advise you to reject the offer. Certainly he/she will advise you to make sure that the contingent offer allows you to continue to market the house to other potential buyers. Your agent may request of the buyer that he/she provide some further proof of their ability to bring the sale to a close after their house sells, such as financial statements or a mortgage pre-approval document.
Q - The offer was acceptable and I signed the Purchase Agreement, what now?
A. Congratulations! See how easy that was when you worked with a real estate professional. Your Realtor will stick with you through the closing and will keep tabs on the title work and how the other side is doing with the mortgage. You may have been asked to have certain tests done and to provide certain reports on things like the well water and the septic (if applicable).
Your agent can provide recommendations for companies to do the work and provide the reports. You may be asked to pay for tests that you don’t want to have done or don’t want to pay for and you are well within your rights to refuse the requests.
Remember that the buyer may send you in writing results from tests or inspections that were unacceptable to him/her and you will have a limited amount of time in which to respond. You may respond by indicating how and when you will fix the problem or you may respond that you do not intent to fix the problem. In that case, you may wish t offer the buyer a concession of some dollar amount so that he/she can get the problem fixed or you may just refuse to fix the problem or offer a concession. The buyer has the right to walk away from the deal and get his/her earnest money back if you refuse to either fix the problem or offer an acceptable concession.

Your agent will also stay involved with coordinating things for the buyer, such as scheduling the appraisal. If there is any need to extend the time frames of any of the terms or conditions of the original Purchase Agreement, your agent will represent you in negotiations and arrange for you to sign any documents. Prior to closing your agent should be able to get for you a pre-closing packet that will allow you time to go over the documents, perhaps with your attorney, ahead of time. Your Realtor will be in the room at closing and will wish you well afterwards. He or she will be hoping that you now clearly see the value in having a real estate professional involved in the process and will recommend them to your family and friends.