Blog entry by Doorsteps

How Many Offers Should You Compare Before Selling Your House

If you are selling your house online, you can expect to find a buyer quite soon. But before you make a sale, you have to consider all your options. How many offers should you compare before you make a decision?

In order to choose the best offer, you need to lay the groundwork and develop a good understanding of your home’s value.

1. Decide on a Two-Stage Approach
Stack the odds in your favour by taking a two-stage approach. First, decide on an estimate for the likely price you may get for selling your property online. This helps give you a firm foundation to work with, so it should be based on rigorous research.

The second step is to consider your selling strategy for the house. Do you want to sell quickly? Or do you have the time to wait for a truly exceptional offer? Your preferred timeline will affect the price you’re asking for.

2. Take a Critical Approach to Valuations
Mortgage lenders and estate agents offer valuations that can help you decide on a price. But relying on them alone can be a mistake.

Working with estate agencies carries some risk. Some agencies will err on the side of an unrealistically high valuation, in order to prolong the sales process. Always check an agency’s reputation before trusting its valuations.

On the other hand, valuations from mortgage lenders may go the opposite way. They may give you a low estimate to protect their interests. So, take professional valuations with a grain of salt, and make sure to hire experts with a great track record.

3. Research on Your Own
With your professional valuations in hand, it’s time to do your part. Conduct your own research. Learn the selling price of similar properties in the area, and read up on general housing trends.

4. Negotiation Is Presumed
When you first start receiving offers, remember that the buyer assumes there is negotiation room. So be prepared for that when choosing your asking price and countering offers. Ask for 5-10% more than what you’d be happy to sell for, making room for negotiation.

5. Accepting Offers
Finally, you’ve received some offers for the home. Now it’s time to narrow down your choices.
On average, sellers do an average of 11 viewings before accepting an offer. But that doesn’t mean you should do the same. Some sellers compare dozens of offers, while others are lucky enough to sell after just a handful.

A Word on Negotiations
All estate agents, including UK online estate agents, have a legal duty to pass on every offer, according to the Estate Agents Act 1979. However, you’re not obligated to accept anything at all.

You may have heard that the best offers and the most serious buyers are the early ones. You definitely shouldn’t discount those, but don’t feel pressured to accept an offer that is lower than what you’re looking for.
Instead, you should start negotiations right away. Remember that a buyer will rarely give you their best offer the first time, and they expect you to make a counteroffer.

During negotiations, you want estate agents who actively advise you on your options. Whether they tell you to accept, reject, or counter the offers received, you want them to be engaged. If your agent pressures you to accept an under-negotiated offer or doesn’t have any advice at all, be wary.

What’s the Takeaway?
It’s impossible to know in advance how many offers you’ll compare before you sell. However, you can ensure that you receive the best offers possible by arming yourself with knowledge.

Ask for professional advice, but don’t rely on it exclusively, and make sure you understand the basics of your local housing market.

It doesn’t really matter what you feel you should be paid for your home. All that matters is what buyers are willing to pay. You may think that this leaves you at the mercy of the buyers, but it doesn’t. You can improve the offers you receive if you pay attention to the small details that attract good buyers.

Finally, remember that you aren’t obligated to accept low offers. Selling your home takes as much negotiation as it took to buy it. But in time, you and a potential buyer can compromise on an offer that makes you both happy.