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When to hold out for a higher price

2 Feb 2024

When to hold out for a higher price

It can take a lot of work to get your property on the market:

Last-minute fix-ups, hours in the garden, decluttering, choosing an agent, getting ready for viewings, and finding somewhere to move to. It all takes time and money. And once you've gone to all that trouble, it's natural to want to secure the absolute best price you can for your home. Inevitably though, sellers often end up in a situation where the first offer comes in below initial price expectations.

So what should you do if you find yourself in that spot?

Hold out for more money?

Or take the offer and move on?

In this guide, we'll run you through the situations where it makes sense to hold out for more money, and the times when you might want to consider biting the bullet and taking the best price available.

When to hold out for a better offer...

1. You've only just gone on the market. It's only natural to test the market before you accept an offer. It makes sense to ensure that every serious potential buyer has had the chance to view your home. But holding out too long can be dangerous, too. Active buyers will be checking for new listings online every day, so allowing at least one week of advertising before accepting any offer is a smart play in most situations.

2. You have multiple parties showing serious interest. Let's say you've been on the market for one week. You've had 10+ visits, multiple parties showing interest, and some second visits booked. Meanwhile, an offer below your expectations comes in. In this scenario, it makes sense to hold on a few days to see if you can get a multipleoffer scenario going.

3. The offer on the table has lots of conditions If the offer you are considering has multiple conditions that could take weeks to fulfil, it can make sense to hold out for a better deal. Alternatively, consider putting a cash-out clause in the offer so you can keep your options open.

4. The offer is just plain cheeky There will always be bargain hunters who try to find sellers under pressure so they can secure a deal. It can be a good idea to counter-sign these offers to see if they'll come up to market value, but you certainly don't have to entertain accepting them. Always check recent sales in your area to ensure that any offer you are considering stacks up with current market values in your location. If in doubt, get a valuation report completed so you can feel confident you are selling for a fair price.

When it doesn't make sense to hold out for more...

1. You've been on the market long enough.

If you've been on the market for multiple weeks and this is your first offer, then it makes sense to be flexible and consider accepting a number below your initial expectations. Especially if the offer is reasonably close to your goal price. Staying on the market in the hope you'll get more can reduce the value of your home as buyers start to think there is something wrong with the property once it's been on the market longer than the average time it takes to sell in your area.

2. You've tested the market.

If the evidence suggests this is the best offer available, then it could be time to adjust your expectations. How will you know this? It comes down to your total number of viewings and overall marketing activity, like online views, email enquiries and information downloads. If the market has spoken, it might be time to listen. 

3. Your property is challenging to sell.

Some properties have a smaller potential market than others. Maybe it's an unusual design, uncommon building materials, or a strange layout. Or maybe it's got a big issue that needs fixing or an unconsented change that makes it hard to secure finance. Maybe it's an apartment with large body corporate fees, or a home lacking in sunshine. Whatever the case, some properties are just harder to sell than others. So when a buyer comes along ready to buy your home, think long and hard before you let them walk away, even if their price is slightly lower than you might have initially hoped.

Keep it all in perspective.

Ask yourself questions like:

● In 5 years, will I care if I sold this home for $10K more or less than what I was hoping for?

● Does this offer allow me to get on with my life and do what I want to do?

● If this buyer walks away, where do I see a better buyer coming from?

● Can I feel reasonably confident that this is the best offer available right now, even if it's a bit less than what I was hoping for?

● Can the buyer improve or shorten their conditions to make this offer a bit easier to accept?

The best deal is always the one that gets made.

Sometimes it makes sense to hold out for a better price. But there are also times when the best option might be to accept the available offer and move forward.

We have helped many families through this exact situation and we would love to help you too. Call today to book a free consultation.


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