The Pre-Offer Work
First, let’s review a little background about some of the many things that should have occurred prior to an offer being received. Hopefully, the seller began the process by hiring an Exceptional, Highly Effective Agent who specializes in Northern Virginia real estate. This type of agent is best positioned to reach the seller’s desired outcome in the most efficient and professional manner possible. Prior to receiving an offer, the agent and seller have collaborated on all the vital steps to make sure the home is show-ready to achieve maximum buyer interest.
Importantly, the agent has performed a detailed and thorough Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for the seller. The agent has determined the most probable and definitive selling price range for the home to help the seller determine the listing price. The agent has listed the home for sale and performed an extensive and customized marketing campaign to create maximum market awareness that the home is for sale. The agent has done everything possible to bring every interested buyer to the seller’s doorstep to see the home. After all this, seller and agent collaboration has worked perfectly and the agent has received an offer from a buyer. Now what?
Agent Review of the Offer & Presentation to the Seller
When a buyer submits an offer to a seller it will be in the form of a Virginia Residential Sales Contract. Exceptional agents have already sat down with their seller in the pre-offer phase and performed a page turn of the contract. The agent has fully explained the meaning of each clause and each contingency addendum that will likely be included in an offer. I perform this activity with my sellers well in advance of a buyer’s offer so at the time of the offer we can concentrate on just the important commercial elements. In my experience, the emotional time surrounding an offer is not the best time for an agent to first explain detailed contract terms.
Now that the offer has been received by the seller’s agent (and possibly even multiple offers), the agent should first examine the offer to make sure it’s a complete, bona fide offer. Each addendum and contingency to the offer must be fully scrutinized. After agent review, the offer is now presented to the seller.
Seller Options When Responding to a Buyer’s Offer
The seller basically has three (3) options when considering how to respond to a buyer offer or counteroffer. Once any offer or counteroffer is accepted by the seller or buyer, the offer or counteroffer immediately becomes a ratified, legally binding contract.
Ratified Contract to Settlement – In Escrow
Once an offer or counteroffer is accepted, the Contract immediately and automatically becomes ratified. At this time, the seller and buyer are now what’s often referred to as “In Escrow”. The buyer’s down payment is in the process of being delivered by the buyer agent to the escrow agent and the settlement process has begun.
This is when the Contract contingencies (e.g. home inspection, appraisal, financing, settlement, etc.) begin to go into force with their own requirements and deadlines. It’s not uncommon for the seller and buyer to again be placed back into very limited negotiations around the home inspection with those (3) options again in play. For example, after completing the home inspection the buyer might present to the seller a few requested repairs recommended by the home inspector. These are usually customary type repairs, but it does require an agreement between buyer and seller.
The offer and counteroffer negotiations between and buyer and seller can be a challenging process. Often times, issues can arise that appear problematic. However, that’s where the problem-solving, skilled resolve of an exceptional, highly effective agent can make all the difference. These types of agents are best positioned to help sellers successfully navigate the selling process and reach their desired outcome.
“It is with much enthusiasm that we share with you our thoughts about Tim Trainum. He his the most knowledgeable and informed real estate agent with whom we have ever dealt. Over the last 45 years we have bought and sold a combination of 26 homes, condos, and multi-family apartment buildings in Fairfax, Arlington and other parts of the country. Tim is without a doubt the complete package. He did everything we asked him to do. He gave us great information and advice and kept us informed as to his progress day by day. We highly recommend him.” – Dean and Mary Simonds
I am a high-value agent who delivers demonstrably useful results to my clients. I operate my business with relationship-focused interaction that aligns client goals with beneficial outcomes. I have an unyielding commitment to being an open and honest advocate, ensuring my clients reach their desired outcome efficiently and with the most equity. My overarching passion in real estate is to join your buying and selling journey and help improve your quality of life.
I am a full-time, licensed Realtor® who has established deep roots and knows the region. I was born and raised in the Northern Virginia area, graduating from Chantilly High School and then James Madison University with degrees in Economics and Finance. I live in Fairfax with my wife Liz and our seven year old son Robby. I’m a homeowner myself and understand the important decisions my clients face when they’re buying or selling a home. In addition, I’m an owner of investment property, including a multi-family apartment buildings. I have a penchant for helping people having taught adult education courses in investing and personal finance, and helped numerous clients, friends and colleagues in creating a path to wealth creation. I also serve as the trustee for a private charitable memorial fund.
I have been working in the real estate industry helping clients for over 25 years. As a Listing Agent, the value I create for my sellers is to help them elevate and showcase home condition. I use multiple valuation techniques to pinpoint market value for my sellers. I use cutting-edge marketing strategies to promote widespread buyer awareness and produce the maximum selling price in the fewest days possible, while protecting my seller’s best interests throughout the complete selling and settlement process. As a Buyer’s Agent, I help my buyers locate the home that changes their life. I guide my buyers in structuring the most compelling offer that can win seller acceptance, while retaining the most value and equity possible for buyer benefit and in a manner that protects their best interests throughout the complete buying and settlement process. I have worked with clients in the purchase of investment property, helping them to prospect property as well as evaluate all the financial metrics important to making the investment. My real estate experience includes working in the development, construction and operation of real estate infrastructure projects, closing over $500 million, as well as supporting several commercial real estate clients in the pursuit of reaching their objectives. My experience spans across consulting with clients on remodeling and home improvement projects to negotiating land purchase agreements and easements, to negotiating residential and commercial leases. There are few areas of real estate that I haven’t touched and it continually has been with a mind-set of delivering exceptional outcomes.