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Anatomy of an Offer on Your Home

How to evaluate an offer on your home

When an offer comes in your property, Mr. & Mrs. Seller, here’s what you can expect when we sit down together to go over it.

The first thing we’ll do, before we even look at the offer, is to examine an updated Market Trends Analysis for your local area that’s similar to the one I prepared for you when we listed your home. It’s the best way I know of predicting whether the market is likely to improve or decline in the coming weeks. Understanding the market trends may influence how we proceed with this offer.

Additionally, we’ll review an updated Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) to find out the specifics of home sales that may have occurred since the last CMA I prepared for you, as well as any details about active listings that are your current competition.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 8.49.34 AMThen we’ll take a look at the anatomy of the offer, as I highlight for you the contract terms most likely to impact your decision:

1. Price
2. Selling concessions
3. Net proceeds (your bottom line)
4. Financing, including buyer’s qualifications
5. Settlement and occupancy dates
6. Inclusions/exclusions, and
7. Contingencies, if any


Yes, there will be other details to consider, but these Big Seven are the bare bones of the offer, the factors that tend to have a “make it or break it” effect on any home seller’s decision regarding an offer.

Some sellers find it helpful to rate each of these major items with a score of 1-3, knowing that any offer scoring 19-21 is a definite keeper;  a score of 15-18 is a very good offer, worth considering in light of the market trends and CMA we discussed earlier; and, finally, you will most likely counter-offer anything with a score below 15 – at least on the factors that are on your priority list.

What happens next, you ask…

After a determination is made about these Big Seven, we’ll review the entire offer from start to finish, including any addenda and disclosures. As we do, I’ll take notes on a separate piece of paper about any missing or unsatisfactory details so we can consider them together at the conclusion of the contract review. I will make recommendations, based on my professional experience, but you will have full control over the decision to accept, reject or counter-offer – and what is included (or not) in any counter-offer.

While there are many details to every real estate contract, most of them are so-called standard practices. If you and the buyer agree about the bare bones of the offer, a SOLD sign is probably in your future!

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Margaret Woda is a licensed Associate Broker in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore – Annapolis area. She specializes in Anne Arundel and nearby Prince George’s Counties, Maryland, including Fort Meade, Andrews AFB, and the U.S. Naval Academy. If you enjoyed reading this post and want to learn more about Real Estate the Woda Way, visit her website at Margaret

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