Getting an offer on your home is a big deal and it's important that you do your homework ahead of time. You have a lot at stake and big decisions need to be made relatively quickly.
With an offer in-hand, you'll know the buyer's offer price and terms and conditions – including a closing date, provisions for certain fees, any contingencies and your deadline to respond. You now have three options:
Accept the offer as is and “bind” the contract
Negotiate with the buyer via a counter offer
Reject the offer and move on
Because your home is probably the biggest asset you have, it’s important to lean on your real estate agent for your next step. Their experience and knowledge of your local market conditions and personal/financial goals are key. Let them guide you.
It's likely you’ll find yourself countering the initial offer – typically asking for a higher price or adjusting the closing date. If you opt to negotiate, your agent will submit a counter offer to the buyer’s agent, detailing your requested changes. This puts the buyer in the driver’s seat, and they can now accept, counter or reject and move on (the risk associated with negotiating). In most cases, the back and forth between you and the buyer should last about one to three days, but it’s not uncommon for it to take longer.