How to Navigate Offers and Counteroffers When Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a big deal, and a huge decision like this shouldn’t be made in haste. When navigating the offer and counteroffer processes, you’ll need to take the time to consider every factor involved, including your priorities, who the buyers are, and more.

When making a sale, taking the highest bid on the table may seem easy and convenient. Sometimes, this is the best option, and the outcome can work in your favor. Other times, however, it is not always the best decision and may even work to your disadvantage.

Choosing the highest bidder can be enticing, but many factors go into choosing an offer on your home. Yes, cost is a huge factor in the transaction, but other factors like timeline, pre-approvals, and the overall market can affect your sale.

choosing an offer on your home

5 Things to Consider in a Home Offer When Selling

When selling your home, you hope and expect to receive numerous offers from potential buyers. With all of these bids, it can be overwhelming to make the best decision. At the end of the day, the most important thing to consider when selling your home is your future. How will each offer help you when buying a new home, paying off debts, or dealing with other factors in your life?

1. Your Priorities

The most important thing to consider while navigating offers when selling a home is your priorities. You will want to make as much money on the sale as possible, but it’s not always straightforward.

Let’s say you need to move out of your house as quickly as possible. You’re going to want to accept an offer from someone who shares the same timeline as you. Say you receive an exceptionally high offer from a potential buyer, but their ideal closing or move-in date is weeks or months away.

It may be a pretty offer, but if they require more time for the transaction before closing, they may rescind their offer, placing you back at step one. A buyer who offers less money but is more enthusiastic about quickly closing the deal may be a better prospect than the one offering a higher price.

At the end of the day, it’s about knowing the value of your home, what’s best for you, and setting yourself up for success as you move forward.

2. The Market

Having a firm understanding of the local market will help you position your house better. You have room to negotiate if you receive offers for the set asking price. You can ask the potential buyer to give their best offer within a specific deadline, which can help identify how much wiggle room you have with the price.

You may also need to adapt to the economy’s situation. If it’s a time of high unemployment rates, it may be best to favor cash offers or pre-approved buyers. This will help weed out buyers who aren’t serious or ones who can’t meet the financial requirements.

It’s also beneficial to ensure your listing has effective representation on social media, especially if your home isn’t selling. Showing off your house with a proper price can help attract the right buyers. To get a better sense of what to consider in a home offer, look at recent listings or sales in your neighborhood and general area so you can understand what the market is looking for.

how to negotiate when selling your home

3. How the Buyer Is Paying

The means by which the buyer is paying is an important factor to consider when selling your home, as it is a way to determine if they are reliable. 

Cash Offers

If you receive an offer from a buyer willing to pay in cash, they will likely meet the qualifications for a mortgage. This also means that you can close the deal in a more timely manner.

However, even if they appear trustworthy, it’s important to proceed with caution. Make sure that they can prove they have the means to complete the transaction. Ask for documentation showing they have the proper funds and assets to buy in cash.


In most cases, though, a buyer will need a mortgage. You’ll want to accept an offer from a buyer who has been pre-approved for a home loan. It’s important to confirm that the company providing the loan has a good reputation for closing deals.

It’s important not to confuse pre-approval with pre-qualification. Pre-qualification simply means that you have an estimate of what you can afford, whereas pre-approval means that the lender is likely to give you a loan for the mortgage.

4. Contingencies

When figuring out how to handle multiple offers on your house, you need to think about different contingencies buyers may have. Oftentimes, they will ask for inspection, financial, and appraisal contingencies. These implications allow the potential buyer to pull out of the deal if something doesn’t go their way.

The fewer contingencies there are in the deal, the better your odds. Due to the real estate market’s ever-changing nature, some buyers are choosing to waive contingencies to enhance their offer’s appeal. Understanding these intricacies will empower you to choose offers that align with your best interests.

5. Closing Timeline & Costs

One of the most important home offer considerations when selling is the closing timeline and costs. You need to think about how quickly you want to close. So, if you receive an all-cash offer, this may be your best bet, as it usually means they have the means to close quickly.

On the other hand, if you’re not in a rush to close and want a higher price, waiting until the end of the buyer’s timeline may serve to benefit you.

Besides timing, check if the buyer wants you to cover closing costs, usually two to five percent of the purchase price. Even if the offer seems good, this could impact your finances. Make sure the deal aligns with your expectations and priorities, considering both the offer amount and closing cost responsibilities.

How to Pick the Best Offer for Your Home

Have you received numerous offers on your home but don’t know how to choose the right one? Your best strategy for navigating offers when selling your home is to work with a local realtor. They can help you with every aspect of the selling process, from setting up an open house to negotiating the final price.
Judy Michaelis has been serving the Westport real estate community for over three decades. Trust that she’ll help you get the best deal when selling your home. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let’s get your house sold.