You've found the right home and you've made an offer. What's next? In most cases, the seller will "come back" with a counter-offer. This is known as a seller to buyer counter-offer. To find out what happens next, take a look at some common scenarios and how to deal with each of them.
The Components of an Offer
When a buyer makes an offer, it's not just about the sales price although that is undoubtedly the most important component of it. Other details included in many offers are contingencies, the closing date, the payment of closing costs, and time limits to respond to the offer. Offers can be unique to the buyer's preferences. Keep in mind, though, that buyers should keep the offer as uncomplicated as possible, particularly if dealing with a tight market and lots of competition.
The Seller Accepts Your Offer In Whole
If you've hit the right note with the seller, the offer might come back with an approval. This is a time for celebration but also a time to plan the next important steps necessary before the closing date. This means taking care of things like applying for the mortgage, buying homeowners' insurance, having an inspection performed, and more.
Your Offer is Ignored or Turned Down
If your offer is too low, the seller might be insulted. They might just ignore the offer or they might refuse it. Either way, you should speak with a real estate agent about avoiding making that mistake again. Agents can access vital information about a home and advise you on making a good offer.
Your Offer is Countered
When a seller is motivated, a counter-offer is the most common scenario. The offer you made was probably in the right ballpark but needs to be tweaked a bit before it's acceptable. When that happens, you might get a counter-offer that alters one or more aspects of the original offer. For example, the seller might agree to the closing date but raise the sales price by a few thousand. They might ask for an earlier closing date, accept your sales price offer, but not agree to your request to include certain furnishings like the window treatments. Almost everything is negotiable.
Sales Price Counters
When the seller disagrees with your sales price offer, they may come back with a number that is somewhere between the original asking price and your offer. In some cases, however, they counter with the original sales price. This means they are not willing to budge on that aspect of the sale. You can always send the seller another offer that is between their counter-offer and your offer.
When a buyer gets to this point, things get exciting and nerve-wracking. Look to your real estate agent for advice and guidance as you negotiate for the home of your dreams.