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Should You Accept an Offer or Should You Counteroffer?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Selling a house can be a tricky business, but one you can easily do when you have the right information. The amount of money that you can make or lose will depend on how you handle an offer.

There are times when you should accept an offer - such as if your home is in an area where homes are harder to sell. Some places, like out of the way rural areas, don’t always move real estate as quickly as more populated cities and towns.

So your first offer might be the best one to take if you’re in a hurry to move. As long as it’s close to your asking price, you’ll want to seriously consider it. Obviously, if it’s a ridiculously lowball offer, you’re better off turning it down.

You don’t want to practically give your home away. There are times when you should automatically counteroffer. Sometimes a potential buyer will make a first offer that’s much too low.

Some homeowners are immediately offended by this and won’t even bothering negotiating. A real estate agent will keep the emotion out of the deal because he knows it’s just business.

Buyers want to save money as much as sellers want to make money on the transaction. If you don’t think you can keep the emotion out of it, then you need to let an agent handle the deal.

But if you can handle it and you really want to sell the house, then offer a counteroffer to the buyer. In many cases, it can be helpful to come down just a little on the asking price.

Not much, but enough to show that you’re open to negotiations. There can often be a back and forth between the buyer and the seller before both parties reach a price they’re happy with.

If you have a lot of interested buyers, then you can afford to stand firm on your asking price because you might end up in a bidding war. You can wait until multiple offers come in and decide which one is the best for you.

Sometimes the counteroffer won’t have anything to do with money. You can have buyers who want to ask for a lot of concessions and sometimes these can be over the top.

They want you to put in a lot of extra work for things they want you to change. These things usually don’t have anything to do with the structural integrity of the house.

They might want to include something that’s not in the original offer. Or they have demands that are costly like paying all their closing costs. In cases where a buyer wants a lot of concessions, you’re always better off counteroffering. If your home is priced to sell and it’s a hot market, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t fight for more.

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