When your home is on the market, the first call you get from your real estate agent informing you that someone has put in an offer is always exciting, especially if you’re a first-time home seller. While it can be tempting to strike a deal while the iron is hot, taking the first offer is not always the best option.
But instead of wondering, “Should I take the first offer on my house?” Let me help you decide. This is one of the most common questions I get regarding how to sell your home in Tampa, so below, I’ll offer tips on when accepting the first offer is a good idea and when you should reconsider.
Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Accept the First Offer
Let’s first review the factors you must consider after receiving an offer. Failure to consider these factors could lead you to accept an offer lower than your home’s value or below current market rates.
The current market conditions can help you assess whether to accept the first offer you receive.
If the market is a seller’s market, meaning there are many homebuyers but low inventory, you’ll likely receive more offers soon. The lack of housing inventory causes bidding wars because people are willing to pay top dollar to secure a home.
In a seller’s market, it may not be best to accept the first offer, especially if it’s a lowball offer or not within 10% of the listing price.
However, if it’s a buyer’s market, meaning there are more houses than potential buyers, the first offer is often the best offer you will get. It’s often better to take the first offer in a buyer’s market because it may take longer to receive another offer.
What if you don’t know whether it’s a seller’s or buyer’s market? Reviewing market statistics can help you find out or ask your real estate agent.
The Validity of the Offer
There’s more than meets the eye when an offer comes in than the price they are offering to pay. To know if this is the best offer you’ll receive, consider the following questions as you carefully read the offer:
- Are there contingency requirements or special requests?
- Does the home buyer have pre-approval from a lender for a mortgage?
- How close is the offer to the asking price?
- When is the closing date?
If the offer is within the expected price range and you answer these questions favorably, it’s a good idea to accept it. On the other hand, if the offer isn’t as close to the expected sale price as you would like, consider giving a counteroffer.
Are there circumstances dictating how fast you need to sell, such as moving for a job?
Some homeowners don’t have time to have multiple open houses to find buyers and must sell ASAP to meet life’s demands.
If you have a situation where you need to move quickly, it’s more likely you’ll accept the first offer.
Time on the Market
If your home has been on the market for more than three months without receiving any (or any decent) offers, you should consider taking the first one.
You don’t want your property to lose value by being on the market for too long.
Time of Year
The housing market often slumps in the winter, especially between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The holidays usually take precedence over the home search.
If you need to sell quickly at a slower time of the year, you may want to take the first offer you get. But should you have time to wait, research the best time to sell your house in Tampa to help secure better offers.
If you already have a mortgage, you may need a second mortgage to buy a new home, especially if you’re buying in a hot market. Yet, you may not even qualify for a second mortgage.
Thus, if you’re selling and have an existing mortgage, it may be a good idea to accept the first offer so you don’t need to take out a second mortgage to secure your new home.
When to Accept the First Offer
So when should you accept the first offer on your house? There are several instances when taking the first offer is a solid choice. Let’s review them.
Receiving an early offer suggests strong interest in the property. If you receive an immediate offer at the asking price or near market value, take it. The first buyer is often the best buyer for your home.
If you try to wait for a higher price, you may end up with a lower offer.
Buying a home with cash is becoming more popular as interest rates rise. According to the real estate analytics firm Attom, all-cash sales accounted for more than 36% of 2022 home sales.
If you receive a cash offer, even if it’s lower than what you hoped for, consider accepting it. Cash buyers often have fewer contingencies and may offer to cover all closing costs, which can be advantageous for you.
A home inspection contingency allows the buyer to back out of the deal if the property and seller don’t meet the terms of the clause. You should highly consider accepting a contingency-free offer, especially if you have a backup offer available should anything fall through before signing the papers.
A Need to Sell Fast
If time is of the essence because you need to relocate quickly, you’ll likely take the first offer you get, unless it’s a meager offer.
Real Estate Agent Advice
Taking your real estate professional’s free home-selling advice is a wise choice. If the agent advises accepting the offer, it is best to follow their recommendation. Nobody understands the real estate market better than they do.
With their guidance, one can make an informed decision on the most suitable offer to accept, whether it happens to be the initial offer or not.
Should I Accept the First Offer on My House, or Wait: Work with Kimmie Fine and Find Out
Stop wondering, “Should I take the first offer on my house?” and contact me for advice. With nearly 20 years of experience selling real estate in the Tampa Bay area, I can help you navigate the local market, sell your current home for the best price, and help you find your dream home!