Offer Vs. Counteroffer

Offer Vs. Counteroffer

What is the difference between an offer and a counteroffer?


Buying a home is rarely as simple as making an offer and paying that offer out. Negotiations can go back and forth for weeks before the seller and buyer are both satisfied. The vehicle for this negotiation is the counteroffer — a vital and complex rejection and counter to an offer made by either party. Counteroffers are typically handled between real estate agents and are time-sensitive. Selling or buying a home is more of a process than a transaction, so it’s important to understand counteroffers before you make your first offer.

The Initial Offer

As a discerning home buyer, it is essential to consider the potential outcomes when presenting an offer below the list price. In such cases, the seller retains the prerogative to either reject the offer, accept it, or allow it to expire. In the event of multiple offers, the diligent listing agent will meticulously present the various options to their esteemed client, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of each proposal. Subsequently, the listing agent will dutifully communicate the available choices to all esteemed buyers' agents, ensuring transparency and fairness. In some cases, sellers may choose to counter your proposed closing date. If the urgency to vacate the premises arises, expedite the timeline accordingly. Prospective buyers may also express interest in renting the property for a period following the settlement. In the realm of real estate transactions, it is customary for both buyers and sellers to engage in negotiations about the price and closing date. However, it is essential to note that sellers may encounter additional scenarios where they receive counteroffers.

The condition of the home is likely the most significant factor here. As prospective home buyers diligently research the property, any identified issues pertaining to the house's condition may lead to a subsequent negotiation of the offer. If you have decided to bring your appliances along during the relocation process, it is important to note that potential buyers may express interest in negotiating to include said appliances. Appraisals often serve as a compelling factor for initiating counteroffers. If the appraisal value falls below the mutually agreed-upon sale price, it is important to note that this circumstance will indeed impact the maximum loan amount that the mortgage company will be willing to provide to the buyer.

The Counteroffer

When reviewing a counteroffer, you must have an experienced real estate agent who can capitalize on your advantages in a negotiation. Both sellers and buyers can take steps to put themselves in an advantageous position through planning and intelligent counteroffers. Knowledge is power in negotiations, so try to glean as much information about the seller or buyer as possible. Your agent will also seek input from the other agent on your behalf.

Sometimes, sellers use the pending sale of their home to finance another, meaning they have a truncated timeline and could be more eager to make a deal. Similarly, buyers who have terminated a lease may be desperate for a place to live and more willing to negotiate. If you’re selling a home with known issues, anticipate how these problems may put you at a disadvantage during negotiations. A leaky roof may not be discovered until buyers order a home inspection. Depending on the cost, they may ask the seller to either fix the roof or deduct the cost of a new roof from the sale price.

These issues put sellers at a distinct disadvantage because they either pay for repairs, lower the selling price, or reject the counteroffer and hope the next buyer doesn’t notice or care about repairs. This is why paying for an inspection before listing a house is worth the money. Preparation can save you headaches and money down the road.

Shelhee and David are Beverly Hills real estate experts, including Bel Air, Hollywood, and the Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Market. For the most comprehensive real estate team in the LA metro area, contact David and Shelhee. For more information on buying or selling, contact us at any time.


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