The eternal question, n’est-ce pas?
In all seriousness, the older one gets, the less black-and-white most decisions become; most options must be weighed not only by the virtue of their (competing) merits but in the context for the lens of motivation that might favour a particular outcome over another (and what that might say about the decision-maker). Therefore, the longer one is willing to pause and reflect, a seemingly simple decision can take on a higher level of complexity or much larger significance.
Within the context of real estate, the main responsibility of any Licensed Realtor to their client is to be their strongest advocate. Typically, this translates into pushing to uphold their best interests in financial terms. Makes sense. Dollars and cents. Negotiating on behalf of their client to not over-pay (if buying) or to elevate a sales price (when selling) is an obvious and important role/set of skills that clients expect as the primary value-add a Realtor can provide.
However, for Realtors advising seller clients today, knowing and advising what’s ‘best’ in a buyers’ market might take on a slightly more strategic dimension – and it’s worth discussing briefly. Sure, one seeks to maximise the value of the sale for the vendor but a higher sale price isn’t necessarily the best – and only – aspect of the offer to be considered.
So, now what?
It is still not uncommon that multiple bids are received on properly priced, and especially desirable properties (after all, everyone wants a well-kept, newly-renovated and conveniently-located place to call home – regardless of what is going on with property values). When reviewing multiple offers with clients, the global merit of each offer ought to be reviewed carefully and deliberately in its own right – especially in a buyers’ market.
Remember, in a buyers’ market, there tend to be many listings from which to choose. This lack of competition tends to push prices down and grants buyers the time and leverage to include conditions on any offer they submit. Conditions can have consequences and a very real impact on the ‘take home’ sum of money left over for the seller after closing. Assuming the deal does close… which doesn’t happen all the time.
In fact, knowing ‘what’s best’ isn’t always clear and shouldn’t be limited to price alone. Especially these days when a buyer’s ability to close, and inclusion of multiple conditions must be factored in. In such circumstances, a shrewd seller might be well advised to consider the cost of time should they accept an offer that falls through (and the domino-effect if they then aren’t able to close on their subsequent home purchase) when choosing which offer to pursue. With the benefit of hindsight, the seller would have been far better off selecting an offer with a lower price but fewer conditions (and higher chance of closing) than going for the highest price alone. Especially in a market where prices appear to be continuing to depreciate.
Astute buyers know this, too.
The lesson here is that, if selling – or considering to sell – in today’s market can still be a profitable endeavour and there is absolutely a key role to be played by employing a Licensed Realtor (in fact, now more than ever).
Not only will they help list your property in the most compelling way but will help guide you through the merits and drawbacks of the offers you might receive. Selecting the most advantageous offer to accept isn’t always evident and ought not be based on price alone; sometimes it’s worth going with the offer with the fewest conditions, shortest closing period, highest deposit and greatest chance of actually closing; better to have most of what you want than all of nothing. Moreover, if your Realtor is able to leverage their professional relationship with their counterpart, all the better; nothing like knowing who is working on the other side in order to get a better sense of their true intensions and how likely their client(s) is/are to act in good faith towards closing the deal as agreed.
In the end, there is a value to peace of mind and this is likely more than worth any insignificant perceived loss from maximum achievable sale price. Sellers are well advised to consider this and discuss what their ideal outcomes are with their Realtor. Together, you can come up with a plan to move forward in such a way as to achieve in the best possible end result.