Savvy buyers almost always ask questions before making an offer on a home. The answers they get from you can make a difference in how much money they offer you, or if they make an offer at all. Here are three questions you should expect buyers to ask and be prepared to answer.
What are the prices on comparable homes sales in the area (comps)?
Buyers are going to want to know what other homes in your area have sold for so they can evaluate your list price. Is it high? Is it low, and if so, why? Is it fair? To alleviate some of the follow-up questions, it’s a good idea to have selective comps ready that illustrate your home is fairly priced. Ask your agent to help you gather useful comps and print them out, so you have them available to share with potential buyers.
How flexible are you on the price?
Most buyers understand that sellers don’t take kindly to lowball offers. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for a buyer or a buyer’s agent to ask about how firm you are on price or about your motivation to sell. Doing so will give them an idea of what boundaries they can push from a negotiation standpoint. Your answers to these questions should depend on yourtimeframeand motivations to sell, your local market health, and whether you have other offers on the table. If it’s a buyer’s market, you may also be asked to help offset closing costs, pay for repairs, or offer concessions for things around the home that could use a little work.
What issues does your house have?
You have to fill out a seller disclosure in most states, which is a document that legally obligates you to disclose any known issues with the home. Furthermore, all buyers are legally allowed to have a comprehensive home inspection done that will uncover any undisclosed or unknown issues. Your best bet, when a buyer asks about issues, is to be straightforward. Explain any problems in detail, and describe what has been done to remedy each. If you put a substantial amount of money into a fix or update a home appliance, disclose that as well. People understand that homes age and start to have problems, and the trust you build by being honest far exceeds any concerns a buyer will have about minor issues and repairs.
In a hurry to sell? Consider having a pre-listing home inspection done. With the inspector’s notes in hand, your potential buyers will buyers know exactly what they’re getting into and can come in at a fair price. This speeds up the offer and negotiation process and often leads to a much faster close.
Being prepared to answer buyer questions will take the stress out of offers and negotiations and will help you keep your home sale moving along smoothly.
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