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The Art of the Counter-Offer

The Denninger Report  - by Gini Denninger

Rochester’s home sales market is beginning to hum. Buyers are out looking and offers are being made! There are things buyers and sellers need to know to successfully come to agreement on an offer for a home. One of the trickiest items for agents to navigate is the “counter-offer”. There is not one experienced agent out there that hasn’t heard a client casually toss out “counter-offer” when talking terms of the sale contract. And there isn’t one experienced agent that doesn’t immediately begin to explain the true nature of counter-offers and how to successfully use them in a sale situation. Unfortunately there are those (seller and buyers) that refuse to listen and thanks to misunderstanding the true purpose of counter-offering, the deal falls apart before it gets going.

What is a counter-offer? It is in essence, another offer based on the original offer, submitted back to the other party. Sometimes there is a term in the offer that the seller is not in agreement with. Their agent will suggest that they counter the offer with an offer of their own. The body of the original offer comes back to the buyer with the changes the seller stipulates necessary to come to agreement. The buyers can agree or try to negotiate further. Counter-offers can change closing dates, sellers concessions, pre-possession requests, the reasons are unique to each deal. Counter-offers fine tune the contract to satisfy both parties needs. There is no limit to how many counter-offers can go back and forth between both parties, but most agents would agree that the more counters that fly, the less likely the deal will come together.

One of the most common reasons counter-offers are used is when the offered price is not agreeable to the seller. If the difference is not too large a yawning chasm, then the sellers agent may suggest that they counter. A counter-offer can bring both parties together, often in the middle. This successful outcome is the most common counter-offer scenario in Rochester real estate deals.

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