1. The closing date – see if the date the buyer wants to take title is reasonable for you.
2. Date of possession – see if the date the buyer wants to move in is reasonable for you.
3. The earnest money – look for the largest earnest-money deposit possible; since it is forfeited if the buyer backs out, a large deposit is usually a good indication of a sincere buyer.
4. Fixtures and personal property – check the list of items that the buyer expects to remain with the property and be sure it’s acceptable.
5. Repairs – determine what the requested repairs will cost and whether you’re willing to do the work or would rather lower the price by that amount.
6. Contingencies – see what other factors the buyer wants met before the contract is final – inspections, selling a home, obtaining a mortgage, review of the contract by an attorney. Set time limits on contingencies so that they won’t drag on and keep your sale from becoming final.
7. The contract expiration date – see how long you have to make a decision on the offer.
Reprinted from REALTOR Magazine Online by permission of the National Association of Realtors, Copyriht 2005, All rights reserved.