One of the most common questions we get at home buying seminars and workshops is: “What do I say to the seller when they give me an offer I don’t like?” The easiest thing to do is say “No thank you”, but what if the seller might counter? Your real estate agent will tell you that all offers are negotiable, but how much room for negotiation do you actually have?
There can be a variety of reasons for not accepting your offer—the main one being that your offer is not enough for the seller. Low-ball offers and letters with questionable funding are two of the most common reasons for rejecting an offer.
The lowball offer is one of the more common reasons for rejecting an offer. The seller might feel insulted with this type of offer, especially if their home has been on the market for a while. Any offer asking significantly less than the seller’s asking price is considered a lowball offer.
Another reason for rejecting an offer is that the potential buyer submitted an offer with questionable funding. Often, buyers provide a pre-approval letter from a lender when submitting an offer. If the seller feels that you will not be able to get the letter, they might reject your offer.
So, what should you do if you have to reject an offer on your home?
Rejecting an Offer as a Seller
Don’t overreact if you receive an offer that you don’t like. Even if an offer didn’t meet your expectations, it does not mean that you won’t have other interested buyers.
Thank them for their interest in your home, and be honest about why you are not accepting their offer. For example, if they offered $30,000 less than your asking price, you may politely let them know that you intend to sell the home for a price closer to the asking price. Alternatively, you can provide a counteroffer to the buyer if you are open to negotiation.
If you are not satisfied with the potential buyer’s proof or source of funding, ask them for more information before providing a response. Normally, potential buyers will provide a pre-approval letter to show that they can secure a mortgage before placing an offer on a home.
If the buyers do not seem interested in making changes, you are within your rights to politely decline the offer and let the potential buyers know that your home is for sale to other interested parties.
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