A seller can choose to accept or reject your offer on his or her home. However, there is a good chance that the seller will counter your offer. Counter offers can be tricky. In some instances, the seller indicates that the counter offer is the lowest amount he or she is willing to accept. In others, you can counter again. Before buying a home, it is important for you to understand the counter offer process.
Why Counter Offer?
Counter offers can be used in several scenarios. The most likely scenario is that the seller believes the buyer's offer was too low. The seller's counter offer is not necessarily the least he or she is willing to accept, but it is what he or she perceives to be a fairer price.
A counter offer can also be used as a stalling tactic. If the seller hopes to receive a better offer from another buyer, he or she could continue to negotiate with you while waiting for that offer. The seller is basically using you as a backup plan. If a better offer does not come through, he or she can accept your offer.
The seller could opt to use the counter offer to lower his or her responsibility for certain aspects of the sale. For instance, if you wanted the seller to make repairs to the home, he or she could agree to do so, but only if the sale price of the home is increased.
Regardless of the reason for the counter offer, you must decide if you are willing to meet the terms outlined by the seller. If not, you will need to negotiate.
What If You Want to Negotiate?
If you decide to continue with the negotiations for the home, you need to be prepared for any special circumstances that can occur. For instance, there is a possibility that you could reach a stalemate with the seller. If that happens, you need to find a way to get the negotiations moving again.
One way you can end a stalemate is to address the reason for the seller's unwillingness to budge. In some instances, it has nothing to do with money, but other circumstances. For instance, the seller might want to extend the closing date. If that is the case, offering to do so could lead to an acceptance of your offer.
If you receive a counter offer, work with your real estate agent to determine the best way to handle it.