Offer on house and we countered
Hi, everyone gives such great advice I thought I would put forth my situation and question.
My house has been on the market 4 weeks and we got an offer. We are listing at 189k (with realtor) and we were offered 177k (plus they asked for a lot of items not included in the original sale). I thought this was a decent offer, but my dh and realtor did not. So, we countered at 188k and basically agreed to the majority of their requests. One we did not agree to was the time of possession. The buyers asked for possession at closing and our realtor said we should not do that, as she has been burned before by buyers who flake out or what have you and she said it is very aggravating and costly if the buyers suddenly pull out of the deal (meaning my dh and I would have acquired moving expenses and possibly a lease or be stuck without somewhere to live because we would be waiting to close on next house, etc). When DH and I bought the house 5 years ago, we had possession upon closing. Anyway, we countered to give them possession 5 days after closing (realtors suggestion). The buyers claim to have financing and plan to put 20% down, so I don't know if that reduces the risk.
Mostly I am interested in what is the norm? It seems to me that both parties can't be perfectly happy and some risk is involved. Obviously it is too late to do anything about this (unless they counter us back), but I would really like to hear your opinions on how much time is between a closing and possession for a possible next time? (and I really would like to know for future, as I will be shocked if the buyers accept offer and not too surprised if they simply walk away).
And, just so you know, this is the first house dh and I have ever tried to sell, so I feel very unprepared to deal with things like the offer and relied on our realtor for most of those decisions.