When you first list your property on the market, your greatest desire is also your greatest fear. It’s the early offer. Waiting for the agent to provide feedback after the first inspection is a nerve wracking time. Is the home presented correctly? Is the pricing strategy in line with the market? Will people like it?
If the response to those questions is favourable and a buyer makes an early offer, suddenly the nervous energy shifts. Is it too quick? How long should it stay on the market? It’s only early, we are in no rush.
Many home sellers have learnt that when you list your property in the digital age, the buyers are coming, ready or not. The internet has caused real estate marketing to become close to instant. Within days of it being listed online, literally thousands of potential buyers have run their eye over it.
In most campaigns, 75% of the enquiries and inspections will occur in the first 21 days. If you decline the highest offer that comes from this period, you are essentially working in the belief that the best buyer will be in the 25% that enquire and inspect after day 21 of the campaign. In fairness, that could easily be the case too. It’s imperative that you know the probability that you are relying on when you decline an early offer. As a general rule, its safe declining an early offer because it does not meet yours or the agents price expectations. Declining a strong offer just because its early in the campaign can, and often, backfires.
Even in the strong market of the past two years, nearly 30% of the auction sales have been made prior to the big day. This is because the best buyers turn up early, bid strongly and move on if their offer is declined.
In putting a case forward as to why the early offer should be judged on the price, rather than the timing of the offer, there is one aspect that cannot be written about. That aspect is context. Every sale has a different dynamic. Knowing the rules of poker is different to being able to play poker.
Ensuring the early offer is played to the seller’s advantage is best judged in context. A skilled agent that can actually negotiate will ensure the best decision is made in the client’s interests. An early offer from the seller’s perspective is often an offer made after months of arduous searching on the buyer’s behalf. This disconnect in timing is where many campaigns derail because the best buyer is sent packing. The buyers are coming, ready or not, once you go on market and online.