Selling your house when the market is hot and demand is high is ideal! Sellers dream of multiple offers outbidding each other to get the seller to accept. The seller thinks, “Maybe I’ll get a cash deal. Maybe I’ll have someone pay lots more than my asking price!” But there’s some things one has to think about before choosing the right offer.
When you’re selling in a seller’s market, know that the buyers are often tired of making offers and having them rejected. Some buyers get desperate and make offers they can’t even afford! One buyer recently had 3 offers rejected so on the next house, they decided to go BIG. And guess what, the seller bit! But the seller’s agent reminded the seller that this buyer was going to need a loan to buy the home and there would be an appraisal contingency. What if the appraisal comes in lower than the offered price? In the Las Vegas standard contract, there is an appraisal contingency that says the buyer doesn’t have to buy the home if the appraisal comes in low. So 2 weeks after they opened escrow, they could be cancelling it and having to go find another buyer. This can be heartbreaking for both parties and the seller may even be in contract on a house to buy and this can be a negative chain reaction. Sure, the seller could reduce the price to meet the buyer’s appraisal, but why put yourself in that situation when you had multiple offers on your house just a few weeks ago?
So, what sellers will do in a case like this, is ask the buyer if they’ll, 1) waive the appraisal or, 2) pay cash up to a maximum amount to meet the appraisal. For example, if the buyer offers to pay $300,000 on a house, but we think the appraisal will likely come in around $285k, the seller will want to know if the buyer has $15,000 extra to make up the difference. If the buyer is a first time home buyer or using a 3% down payment loan, there’s a good chance that they’ll be tight on cash. An additional $15,000 may not be available to the buyer. So, what would the buyer be willing to pay? $5000 over the appraised value? If that’s the case, then really, the seller needs to gear his thinking to a $290,000 purchase price ($285k appraised value + $5000 cash from the buyer). The offer of $300,000 is not real. They might as well have offered $1 million. The $290,000 is real.
I’d recommend getting proof of funds if the buyer agrees to pay some money over a low appraisal. Some buyers are looking to their family for help if they’re cash strapped, so make sure you’ve got assurances that the cash is readily available and not just a story.