Q&A Tuesday: What to Do If An Offer Comes In For Your Home…But It Isn’t For Sale

Q&A Tuesday: What to Do If An Offer Comes In For Your Home…But It Isn’t For Sale

We are in the midst of a seriously low inventory market, and buyers are going to great lengths to try to find their ideal home…even if it isn’t on the market. Between multiple offer wars and the unavailability of homes in neighborhoods where they want to be, it’s a hard market for buyers in Jacksonville right now.

So what’s a buyer to do? Some are throwing out those fishing lines and seeing what bites by taking a gamble on an unlisted home. If you’re a homeowner who has received a letter from a potential buyer in the mail, a knock on the front door with a proposal, or a call from the buyer’s agent, here’s how to handle an offer when you’re home isn’t on the market.

Time to ask some questions.

If you are completely content with your home and have no thoughts of moving any time soon, just simply let the buyer and their agent know.

If, however, you might be up for seriously considering the offer, talk more in-depth with the buyers and their agent to find out just how serious they are.

You should ask why they chose the neighborhood, and your house in particular, as well as if they’ve made offers on any other homes nearby and if they’ve already been preapproved by a lender. Talk with their agent about other recently sold homes in the neighborhood, and what the buyers plan to offer on the home.

Call up your real estate agent.

You’re going to want some help through this, and you’re going to want someone who is on your side. The buyers may or may not come to you already working with an agent, but you’re going to want the help of a real estate professional to vet out the potential buyers, coordinate any showings or inspections of the house before or after the offer is signed, make sure the buyers are offering a fair market value for the home and get you through the transaction with as little stress as possible.

Whether you want to use the same agent who helped sell you the home, or interview a few new ones, make sure to call them up sooner than later to help review contract and make sure all needed documents are included and submitted to the right people (namely the lender and closing attorney).

Decide on the price.

Have your agent complete a CMA (comparative market analysis) of homes similar to yours that have sold recently. If the buyers are using a loan to purchase the home, it’s going to have to appraise – so you can’t just be throwing out numbers willy nilly.

Compare the current market value of your home based on these comparable properties with what the buyers are offering.

Time to move forward.

Once everything is negotiated, agreed upon, and put in writing, you can now move forward with selling your house. Make sure to consult with your agent about setting a timeline for closing, getting all your paperwork in order for the title company and closing attorney, as well as coordinating things like the home inspection and appraisal with the buyers.

If you can’t agree on final terms with the buyers, then it may be time to rethink selling the home to them. Not every off-market deal works out, usually due to the inability to agree on a sale price.


Have more questions about accepting off-market offers? Thinking about selling your house to take advantage of these higher prices and high buyer demand, but not sure what your next step should be? Let’s set up a time to talk, I would love to help. Contact me at 813-493-1665 or send over a quick message on the contact page.