Counter Offer Etiquette – Part 3

Present your poker face 

Whether it is about the price offer, the closing date, or the deposit money, real estate transactions always contain confidential details. The buyer doesn’t know if there truly are competing offers, and the seller doesn’t know precisely about the buyer’s financial situation. When a buyer does present an offer to the seller, this lack of concrete knowledge can create interesting negotiation strategies on both ends.

So, what can happen when a buyer presents an offer and the seller counter rejects it? Or counteroffers? Enter real estate counteroffer etiquette.

The rejection

Rejection is sad. Even heart breaking. When you have your eye on the perfect house, having your hopes dashed is not much fun. But a seller is allowed to reject your offer. They don’t even have to respond! To keep that waiting factor out of the equation, add an expiry date to your offer, so if the seller doesn’t respond, then at least you know the answer indirectly.

Can a listing agent lie about other offers that have been received?

For real estate counteroffer etiquette, then ethically, no. They are not bound to disclose details of any other offers, but are bound by the Realtor Code of Ethics. There are also civil codes in each state about providing false information during a sale. Don’t get alarmed by the potential for multiple offers – just present the best deal that you can make.

The counteroffer

Although they may not be thrilled with your offer, a seller may be willing to play. That brings about real estate counteroffer etiquette.

The seller can address any part of the offer, such as the price, closing date, or items that the buyer wants, or the seller wants to keep. This is known as chattel. Make sure you list anything you want in the offer or counteroffer so nothing is assumed.

Counteroffers can go back and forth, back and forth as often as people are willing to make changes. Hopefully, both parties can come to a quick agreement.

Situation: What do you do if the seller counters with a price you are not pre-approved for? Either you counter with a price that is agreeable, or else you have to walk away. Better to have a financial buffer than be stretched thin.

Protection against issues

Every transaction has the possibility of wrinkles and bumps. When it comes to real estate counteroffer etiquette, you definitely don’t want any bumps! Still, they happen. There are both state and federal laws and regulations that help consumers through this territory.

For example, before a home can close, the buyer needs to do a title search. This can show if the house has any liens on it. These seller needs to remove these liens before the buyer can get insurance and the transaction can be done and dusted.

Another example can be in the offer itself. To protect the buyer from buying a lemon of a home, the offer can contain certain clauses. These clauses allow the buyer to back if a, for instance, home inspection uncovers structural issues.

The offer can address other issues too, such as disclosures. These are aspects of the house that the seller is obligated to tell the buyer before buying. These include:

  •  Lead paint
  • Natural hazards, such as being in a flood or tornado zone
  • Termites
  • Mold
  • Crime scene. Eeek!

Ask your real estate agent about other disclosures. Also, a real estate attorney can help you navigate these issues if they do pertain to the home you want to buy.

Good Times with Shamrock Home Loans

If all goes well, offers get accepted and congratulations abound! Now, off to get financing. And there is no one better than Shamrock Home Loans. We know mortgages and we can help. Come in to see what we can offer you, and walk away a happy homeowner.

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