Hi there, you've answered your own question Ron - evaluate the offers based on your key criteria. The certainty of closing is certainly a top consdideration - a higher price will mean little if the buyer can't perform.
With the assistance of your agent, evaluate the qualification of the buyer. If financing is involved, the validity and strength of the pre-approval is key. Do you recognize the institution by name and reputation? How firm is the preapproval - in other words how far does the bank take the approval process in order to issue it. Some preapprovals are based on a phone call, others run the credit, still others strengthen further by essentially taking the application. With so much of the purchase price riding on the mortgage, you want to be comfortable with the qualification of the buyer and the bank.
Down Payment: I view this as "skin in the game". The more the buyer puts in, the less strain on the appraisal and also the less likely they will walk away.
If an all cash deal, insist on proof of funds. Again, is the buyer in the position to perform?
Closing Date: Go for the shortest date that is achieveable. Banks need time to do their job, I'd be suspect of an offer tha promises to close in less than 30 days if financing is involved. So I'd suggest a goal of 30-60 days to close. Lagging closing timeframes just provides time for second thoughts. Button it up as quickly as possible.
Sellers are wise to respond prompty especially when multiple offers are involved. It is very unnvering to the buyers involved, and stalling is a risky proposition - efforts to be too clever, and I would put stalling or playing parties against one another squarely in that category, may just result in nothing.
Evaluate carefully, strike a fair deal and move forward in good faith - that is a formula for success.
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