I'm selling my house. Should I have a review period before accepting any offers?


The Real Estate market is constantly changing from week to week.  Establishing value of your home involves examining recent sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood.  Appraisal protocols usually dictate looking at comps as far back as six months.   If the market is accelerating and your agent has evaluated you pricepoint based on data as much as six mongths old, it is possible you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.  The best way to avoid that is to insist upon a review period.  

What is a review period?  Simply you designate a period of time at the begining of listing where you will not entertain any offers until the end of that time period.  This period, to be effective, should be at least five days and over one weekend.  For example; list on Wed or Thursday, review offers on Monday or Tuesday.  Most buyers search and preview on the weekends.  This allows the market to play.  If there are more than one active buyers looking for a property that matches yours, they will very likely see it during the review period.  Both will make offers at the end of the review period often bidding the price up beyond the original list price.  The alternative, is that you accept the first offer that comes in, let's say the second day its on the market.  Even if its full price, you could lose out, not knowing if another buyer would be willing to bid the price up.

This system also prevents an unscrupulous real estate agent from selling their own listing to the detriment of their client.  I heard a story where on the first day of the listing, the listing agent actually procurred a buyer for their seller.  It was a full price offer at $850k.  Dispite being warned by freinds that she was listing the property below market, this widow went with the advice of her agent. She sold her home for full list price.  The agent touted her expertise in selling this widows home on the first day.  Unfortunately there were other buyers trying to get into this neighborhood.  Less than three weeks later a very similar home sold fo 1 million.  The widow could have easily capilized and sold for a much highr price.  A review period would have caught that.  Was good for the agent as she got double comission for being both the list agent and buyer agent.  She definitely was not looking our for her client. 

It is possible, that at the end of this review period, you have no offers.  As dissapointing as this may be, it does also offer some further information in regarding the pricepoint of your home.  Also avoid having the review period on holiday weekends, or any time there is something to distract buyers from looking that particual weekend,  Examples would be 4th of July, Superbowl weekend (especially if local team is in), etc.  Review period in excess of two weeks would be rare.

Should you have any further questions, feel free to call us.  Real Estate is not difficult.  We do it every day and weed out the nonsense!  My direct line is 206-551-0070