Step 7: The Offer

You may get an offer immediately, or it may take a few months. The average time to offer in Lincoln, for example, in 2015 was 72 days. That’s over two months. On average, the demand is marginally higher for homes listed <$1.3m, with an average 64 days to among 33 properties. It’s important to be realistic, and to consider your goals when pricing your home.

When you get an offer it might look like this:

Offers are simple. The outline contingencies (click here for a deeper explanation of offer contingencies) and dates. They get you to the Purchase and Sale agreement (the P&), which gets you to the closing. Except when demand is unusually high, the majority of offers contain an inspection contingency. They are usually valid for a specified amount of time that is not longer than two days.

If your home was priced well during a market of high demand, it is possible to get multiple offers. In Lincoln this is rare, but not that rare. Since 2014, Jeannine and Jess have 19 sales of which 7 involved multiple offers.

Typically, if you get an offer, we let all the interested parties know that we have received and offer, and we tell them how soon you plan to respond to the offer. If you get more than one offer, we don’t “shop” offers – you get more when we negotiate fairly and relatively opaquely.

We have seen buyers who include an “escalation clause” and we don’t typically recommend accepting them.

The 10-14 day period between the offer and the P&S. Inspections can be tough. Truly, the best cure is prevention. Most sellers need to negotiate after inspection. Sometimes things that come up at inspection require further investigation and subsequently postponing the P&S. Other things a seller should do during the accepted offer period:

Contact an attorney if you haven’t already.

Here’s an important note on offer packages when you get multiple offers: Sometimes buyers submit personal letters, including photographs. You as a seller need to know that you may, however inadvertently, be violating the Massachusetts Fair Housing law. There are 15 protected classes:

Federal:

Race Color National Origin
Religion Sex/Gender Familial Status
Disability/Handicap

 

Massachusetts:

Age Ancestry Children
Genetic Information Marital Status Public and/or Rental Assistance
Sexual orientation Veteran/Military Status Gender Identity (2012)