When someone makes an offer on your home, you have three choices: You can accept it, reject it, or make a counteroffer. If you generally like the offer but feel that it needs a little “tweaking,” you can make a counteroffer to the counteroffer. Here’s what you need to know.
Sellers: What to Do When You Receive a Counteroffer
When you counteroffer your prospective buyer’s offer, they may come back with another offer for you – and that’s perfectly normal. In fact, most buyers expect to negotiate at least a little when they’re buying a house. You can choose, just as you did with the initial offer, to accept, reject or counteroffer again. Your REALTOR® will be with you every step of the way, helping you make the right choices and pick the right wording for your counteroffer to the buyer’s counteroffer. (Could we say “counteroffer” one more time?)
However, before you get to that point, here’s a guide to help you.
Tip #1 for Counteroffering a Counteroffer: Don’t Wait Too Long
Don’t wait too long to respond to a counteroffer. It’s okay to take your time and make a well-informed decision, but it’s best if you can make it within a day or two of the buyer’s offer. If you wait longer than that, the buyer may feel like you’re disinterested – or worse, become disinterested themselves – and that could cost you the sale.
Tip #2 for Counteroffering a Counteroffer: Remain Professional
Even if you feel as if a prospective buyer is “lowballing” you (that is, offering you far less than what your home is really worth), keep it professional. (Don’t worry – your REALTOR will handle the negotiation process for you.) Remember that the prospective buyer isn’t trying to pull one over on you; it’s that every buyer wants to get the best possible real estate deal. Even a difference of a few thousand dollars adds up quite a bit over the life of a mortgage loan, so many buyers try to save wherever they can. And remember, they most likely expect you to counteroffer their counteroffer! The buyer’s real estate agent will probably be there coaching them through the negotiation process, too.
Tip #3 for Counteroffering a Counteroffer: Don’t Take it Personally
If you’re like most people, you’ve attached some sentimental value to your home – but you have to remember that sentimental value is not the same thing as financial value. Don’t take it personally if a prospective buyer comes back with a lower price than your original counteroffer. In fact, you should see it as an opportunity to make some changes in the agreement so that you both walk away happy. Your REALTOR may suggest that you lower the price a bit, or that you make adjustments such as asking them to ask for less. For example, if a buyer asks you to put new flooring in the living room, you may consider adding a small concession for new flooring (with or without lowering the price).
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