How to Deal with a CounterOffer

Posted on: December 6, 2013

So you’ve found your dream home, made your offer and gotten a counteroffer back from the sellers. It isn’t the ideal scenario, but it’s better than being rejected out of hand. Realistically, you should expect a counteroffer and a couple of rounds of negotiation before you and the seller agree a deal. How, then, do you properly deal with a counteroffer? 

Counteroffer to Negotiate Price

If you make an offer with a great price, you may never have to deal with a counteroffer over price. However, if the sellers want to get just that little bit more, or if your offering price wasn’t quite realistic, you’ll probably have to negotiate over price. When you’re discussing price, the seller is likely to come back with a number that’s somewhere between their original asking price and your offering price.

This is when you have to decide how much you want the home, and how much you want to stick to your price range. If you have some wiggle room in your budget, you may want to simply accept the seller’s counteroffer. However, if you really can’t go above a certain price range, respond to the counteroffer accordingly but be willing to accept it if you lose the house.

If you want to continue negotiating, come back with an offer higher than your original offer but lower than their counteroffer. If you and the seller simply can’t agree on a price, consider splitting the difference to meet in the middle if you really want the home.

Counteroffer to Fine Tune the Deal

In some cases, sellers may be perfectly happy with your offer price but make a counteroffer to fine tune the deal. For example, you might make an offer that says you want to close on escrow 30 days after the sellers accept your offer, but the sellers might need longer than that to relocate. Many of the points in fine-tuning a deal are negligible and easy to grant. However, if you’re on a tight deadline or the seller is asking something that you think is unreasonable, you might have to go back to the table or walk away from the deal.


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