It is rare that an offer gets accepted in the first instance, it is MUCH more likely that the seller will respond to the offer with a counter-offer. Assuming you still want this house that you are now planning to make your home, it is your turn to respond.
Welcome to the 9th post in our Buyer blog (and video) series. Today we are going to be giving you some tips and tricks to help you navigate the counter offer process.
Today’s topic is: The Do’s and Don’ts of responding to a Counter Offer
As an aside, I just want to say that, if you are following our video series, this is the first episode that Lindsay and I did together, what a blast! Lindsay did most of the talking and mama bear just stood there looking silly, but we both enjoyed it and would LOVE your feedback on: Are the videos better with the two of us? Or do you prefer the videos with one speaker? We have our own thoughts on it but could really use your feedback. You can give us your feedback using the form at the end of this post, no extra clicking required.
Okay, so back to the subject matter of our blog. Let’s assume that you have put in an offer to purchase your dream home and now the Seller has come back with a counter offer. DARN… you’re offer didn’t get outright accepted, but don’t worry, they rarely do.
Now that you have a counter offer, you, as the buyer, have 3 options:
- You can accept the counter offer (exactly as laid out by the seller), just tick the appropriate box, sign in the designated places, send it back to the seller and you are good to go, you have an accepted contract!
- You can reject the counter (i.e. walk away from the deal). Again, just tick the appropriate box, sign in the appropriate places and send it back to the seller, and it is over. You can move on to the next deal.
- Or you can counter the counter offer!
The negotiating process is a bit like gambling and not for the faint of heart, it’s a bit like those drug side-effect warnings you see on TV, the deal may die! For the purposes of this blog, we have assumed that you want the deal to proceed, and you could use some helpful tips on how to negotiate the counter offer process.
- DON’T take it personally. A counter offer is not about YOU, it is about the seller and their needs. For example, if the seller is asking for more money, it may be that they have a minimum amount that they need to net from the sale to get out from under their mortgage. If you want the sale to go through, you are going to have to work with the seller’s figures, maybe a compromise on both sides will get you to where you need to be.
- DO ask for as much information as may help you to navigate a counter offer that might be successful, even confidential information that the other party’s agent is not allowed to disclose, if you don’t ask you will never know, if you do ask, you may still never know, but you may also learn some valuable information that will get you to the finish line. Use the information you receive to make your response as appealing as possible.
- DON’T think of the seller or the other agent as the enemy, it is only with their consent and approval that this deal will happen
- DO be reasonable, try to take into consideration the concessions that both sides are making to allow the deal to move forward. For example, if you have asked for early possession, and the seller is not willing to agree to this but has agreed to most of the other terms, consider making other arrangements during that time, like staying with family or getting a hotel room.
- DON’T nickel and dime the seller! Is $1,000 really all that significant when you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on your new home? $1,000 is a small fraction when viewed against the purchase price.
- DO be flexible where you can. If the seller counters with a different closing date and it doesn’t pose any major issues for you consider conceding this point. Choose your battles wisely.
Hopefully this helps you to feel more confident in your negotiations. We’re proud to walk our clients through this often stressful time.
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Remember, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell their home, please give us a call! It’s always the right time to make a wise move with the Wise Move AZ Team.