Raleigh - Cary Home Reviews & Market News!: 5 Reasons You May Not Want to Counter That Offer

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5 Reasons You May Not Want to Counter That Offer

This is a Fantastic post by Tni. Sometimes seller's need to take the offer and run. Buyer's are constantly looking for homes up until the day they close (and some after). They want to be ready in case the deal isn't accepted or if it falls through. It often isn't worth the risk of not signing right away. Always listen to the advice of your Licensed Real Estate Agent.


5 Reasons You May Not Want to Counter That Offer

It never hurts to ask, right?  How many times have you heard that expression?  However, as a real estate agent, I have a front row seat and back stage pass to home buying and selling action, and I can say with absolute authority that -- sometimes it does hurt to ask.  Countering a buyer’s price and terms is the equivalent of asking.  And there is risk in doing that.  When you are selling a home, here are a few reasons you might want to rethink countering a buyer’s offer:

1) It’s a fair offer.  The offer is fair and it hits your target.  What more could you want?  A little more you say?  You may want to resist the temptation to ask for a little more.  Just because a buyer offered you what you want up front doesn’t mean there is more meat on the bone.  The buyer and their agent studied the market before writing the offer and they probably reviewed the same comps you and your agent studied.  They know they've written a fair offer -- it didn't happen by accident. If you counter their fair offer, they may think you are going to be unreasonable throughout the transaction, give up, and simply walk away.  Think twice before countering a fair offer.

2) It was prepared carefully.  As an agent I know presentation matters.  You may not be able to determine whether an offer is well prepared, but your agent will know. In my opinion, a well prepared offer leaves out unimportant requests, and includes every single piece of information necessary to make a decision.  A good buyer’s agent is going to counsel their buyer about how to make a good offer, what to leave out, and what to include -- and a serious buyer will listen.  When I receive a well prepared offer, I not only know that the buyer is serious, I know that they are worth taking seriously.  Think twice before countering a serious buyer with a well prepared offer.

3) You will interfere with the buyer’s momentum.  Yes, there is a momentum to the home buying process.  You may have forgotten that if it has been awhile since you bought a home.  Countering can put a kink in momentum -- and it can kill the enthusiasm of a buyer.  Especially in today’s market where they must withstand a whirlwind of negative news reports, the opinion of their family, friends, (and sometimes their agent), as well as hurdle through the current invasive loan pre-approval process in order to write an offer. Countering can sometimes feel like a road block to a buyer who has already navigated an obstacle course.  Think twice before slowing a buyer’s momentum with a counter offer.

4) The market is declining.  This has to do with leverage.  If the market is declining in your area, the buyer is aware of that fact as well.  So, they may be absolutely insulted that anyone would counter any offer they make in that type of environment.  You simply may have no leverage in your current market. This is true even on a short sale -- if the market is declining and the offer is reasonable -- it is sometimes better to let the bank do the countering, if they choose to do so.  Think twice before countering in a declining market, lest you find the value of your home declining with it.  

5) A counter is a rejection and some people don’t take rejection well.  This reason is almost completely emotional and psychological.  Simply put, not every buyer is up for a nice spirited game of negotiations.  You might return that serve to find that the other player has walked off the court. Some people just can’t handle rejection.  Other people like to be in control.  And, some people just don’t like to play what they view as “a game.”  I’ve found that there are people who will never ever respond to a counter offer.  They typically “don’t do bidding wars” and they “don’t do counter offers” either. Think twice before rejecting that offer with a counter.

Every situation is unique, and the decision of whether to counter an offer should reflect both the current market for your home and the particular offer that is presented.  However, I do believe that the decision to counter an offer should not be made lightly. At a minimum, you should think twice.

Tni LeBlanc is an independent Real Estate Broker, Attorney, and Short Sale Agent. She is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS) serving the Santa Maria, Orcutt and Five Cities area of the Central Coast of California.

If you are considering a short sale of your Santa Maria, Orcutt,  or Nipomo home, you should seek out an experienced Central Coast Short Sale Agent to guide you through the process.  If you would like a short sale consultation, please call my office to schedule a meeting or a telephone consultation at (805) 938-9950.

* Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker.  This article offers no legal or tax advice.  Those considering a short sale are advised to consult with their own attorney for legal advice, and their tax professional for tax advice prior to entering into a short sale listing agreement.  Mint Properties is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.

Copyright© 2011 Tni LeBlanc *5 Reasons You May Not Want to Counter That Offer*


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Comment balloon 4 commentsCarla Freund • June 18 2011 04:59PM


I think it all depends on how the counter offer is presented. Hopefully you are either meeting with the buyer personally or educate their agent! After all, we are the ones with the negotiating skills, at least hopefully.

Posted by Patrick Harvey, We make it right for you! (West USA Realty) over 9 years ago

Patrick - This is true! Unfortunately, we can't control how the other agent presents the offer.

Posted by Carla Freund, Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 9 years ago


I like this post. There are times when you receive a good offer and should recognize it as such. The declining market and that the agent should have researched the area before counseling the buyer on price are all good points. A well written offer indicates to me I could be working with an agent that is detailed and that can mean the difference between a transaction that can close and one that falls apart. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Mary Schurr, Realtor - Charlotte NC (Mary Schurr Realty) over 9 years ago

Carla, some really good advice to follow.

Posted by Alan Morris, Raleigh Durham Home Loan Pro - 919-906-1373 (Sierra Pacific Mortgage) over 9 years ago

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