Carlsbad Real Estate News and Views: Carlsbad Home Buyers Ask - What Is a Counter Offer?

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Carlsbad Home Buyers Ask - What Is a Counter Offer?

Real Estate-Ese – What Is a Counter Offer

 

Buying a Carlsbad home is a tough job in our competitive market, whether you are a first time home buyer or an experienced one. One thing you need to know about the offer process is the counter offer.

 

Buyer HandbookThe most important thing, of course, is to work with the right Realtor who can help you strategize about your offer, and understand the options available to you depending on your personal situation, and the local market conditions. But here are a few thoughts.

 

First, you might wonder why you need to know what a counter offer is. After all, you expect to make a good offer, and have it accepted by the seller, right?

 

Not so fast.

 

While making a strong and clean offer should of course be your goal, there is always the chance the seller will take issue with what you presented, or clarification may be needed.

 

And if there are multiple offers it becomes even more complex, especially in our Carlsbad sellers market if your offer is less than the asking price.

 

After your offer is made the seller can simply accept it. But another option the seller has is to make a counter offer to you. While this means your offer was not accepted as written, it DOES mean you are in negotiations with the seller; that’s a good thing since some of your offer terms and conditions were acceptable.

 

So don’t be offended that you are receiving a counter offer - look at it as an opportunity for further discussion to try and reach agreement with the seller on the house you want!

 

What is a counter offer?Here in the Carlsbad area the counter offer will be outlined on a standard written form, part of the California Association of Realtors database of required forms, spelling out any changes the seller wishes to make on your offer – a different price, a different closing date, clarification that the washer and dryer do not convey, or other terms.

 

Keep in mind that everything else specified in your original offer remains the same – the only changes are the ones outlined in the seller’s counter offer.

 

As the buyer you have several options to respond to the seller’s counter offer: (1) accept the counter as is; (2) accept the counter but make it subject to your own counter offer with other changes (e.g., another price); (3) or decline to go any further.

 

offer price may be in the counter offerNegotiation continues until both parties are in agreement regarding the price, terms and conditions, and the final offer is accepted in writing, unless one of the parties declines to go further.

 

The negotiation can conclude quickly, or may take some time depending on the parties involved, the issues, and other factors. I’ve seen negotiations completed in a matter of hours (faster, if the offer is accepted right away), but also taking more than a week. But in our sellers’ market things tend to move fast.

 

Keep in mind a seller does not have to accept your offer, or to provide a counter offer. If it’s a good offer chances are there will be discussion, however. But if the offer is low from the seller’s perspective, the seller might counter back at full price, or decline to counter at all. And in the case of multiple offers you cannot assume there will be a counter and you will have a second chance.

 

Thus in the offer process you want to have an effective strategy for making a strong and clean offer, based on discussion with your Realtor, but with a likely multiple bid situation making your best effort up front might be most effective.

 

If I can help you think through your home buying requirements, and your wish list, in light of your budget and other factors, and answer any questions about the home buying process including offers and counter offers, please give me a call at (760) 840-1360. Then we’ll get started on finding you the right home and get you into escrow!

 

The video below provides a brief overview of the counter offer process. If we start to work together I’ll provide more details about developing an offer strategy and what happens in the offer process, and we’ll discuss how to deal with multiple offer situations effectively.

 

 

For more information on things you should know about buying a home, visit Home Buying Tips and Advice for my YouTube Channel playlist of short videos. Then give me a call (760-840-1360) so we can discuss your specific home buying needs, budget, and any questions you have about the home buying process.

 

If you are relocating, also check out my video series at Relocation Tips and Advice for helpful information and issues you should consider whem moving.

 

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Comment balloon 46 commentsJeff Dowler, CRS • July 06 2018 12:06AM

Comments

Often times there is no counter-offer at all Jeff Dowler, CRS - a hard pill to swallow.

Posted by Mott Marvin Kornicki, Waterway Realtors, Notary Public 786-229-7999 (Waterway Realty, Realtors® • Broker • South East Florida •) 17 days ago

Jeff, what an awesome post clarifying what a Counter Offer is for a first time buyer. We all wish and hope that our offer is accepted as is, but that is not reality, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) 17 days ago

Great post. It is imperative that buyers and sellers be made aware that they can often find common ground with just a little negotiating.

Posted by Joseph Domino 480-390-6011, Real Estate Made Easy (HomeSmart) 17 days ago

Mott Marvin Kornicki 

Sometimes that's true, especially with multiple offers these days. I often get asked - will the sellers counter? And of course that does not always happen.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 17 days ago

Hi Endre Barath, Jr. 

Unfortunately some offers are not accepted as is and buyers need to understand how the process can work so they are prepared. Some buyers seem to take the approach of providing a low offer in hopes of getting a counter, and of course it doesn't always happen that way.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 17 days ago

Jeff you did an excellent job covering this topic, and great job on the video.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) 17 days ago

Excellent explanation, Jeff! I agree with Mott Marvin Kornicki - the most frustrating have to be the ones that don't counter - AT ALL! 

Hope you have a fabulous Friday!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 17 days ago

Morning Jeff.

In Arkansas once a counter offer is rejected a new contract must be written.  There is no counter to the counter if that makes sense.  Exactly why we like to negotiate all issues before writing the counter.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) 17 days ago

Counter offers mean the negotiation is still in progress! That's a great thing.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) 17 days ago

I hope home buyers in your area will read this post and call you.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) 17 days ago

Just WOW Jeff Dowler, CRS !   Great Post & Video!   Real Estate certainly isn't what it used to be.   I just sold a home for a client and her new home in the Midwest had multiple counters and she prevailed because SHE offered to pay $2,000 towards the SELLER's CLOSING COSTS!    I was amazed to hear that one!

Posted by Dusty Rhoton SRS, MRES, ABR, SRES, GRI, Flagstaff Real Estate (RE/MAX Fine Properties) 17 days ago

What a great post, Jeff. Most home buyers really don't understand how the negotiate process can play out when making an offer. It's something I spend a lot of time strategizing with my clients up front before we actually send in the offer.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC) 17 days ago

Congratulations on your feature- well deserved! This is such helpful information in to share with a client

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) 17 days ago

Its this type of information that all principals need if they are to enter in Real Estate transactions. Potential players use posts like this to help choose an agent

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) 17 days ago

Congratulations on the feature. What Realtors take for granted in simple terms like counter offer, many buyers are confused, going over what it means before they make an offer is key. 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 16 days ago

HI Jeff Dowler, CRS - Nice video! I like the end where you tell the potential client "we can discuss that more if you work with me". This was about countering back. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 16 days ago

Excellent tutorial! We had a LOAN OFFICER not understand this recently. SMH

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) 16 days ago

Nicely done Jeff, the written post - and the video. Very helpful video offering value - and as usual, your style is friendly and approachable.  I too like your close...and call to action. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 16 days ago

In our market, counter offers are an expected norm - but I agree that explanation of how they work is always a good thing to discuss beforehand.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) 16 days ago

You did a great job with the video, Jeff - fluent and easy to understand. We don't normally counter back in writing here and the terms, other than price, are more likely to hashed out during "the contracts are out" process.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) 16 days ago

Good afternoon Jeff - in your market a counter offer rather than a rejection is good news.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 16 days ago

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 

That's an excellent point. Better to be in the negotiating game than not, which is true for both buyers AND sellers. Each situation is different, of course.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 16 days ago

George Souto 

Thanks for the nice compliment. Counter offers can be a big part of the process and buyers need to understand the process and their options.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 16 days ago

It does happen Debe Maxwell, CRS , as we both know. The multiple offer scenarios can get pretty complicated and buyers often assume they will get a counter. It's just not that simple in this market.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 16 days ago

Hi James Dray 

Interesting how it works in your area. I have had as many as 5 counters total to get things ironed out although that's rare. And in a few cases there WAS discussion to nail terms down after the first counter.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 16 days ago

Agreed Kat Palmiotti  And that's true for both buyer and seller. Sometimes they don't seem to look at it that way.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 16 days ago

Love your video.  Easy to understand and a great way to share your expertise.  Great explanation!  

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 16 days ago

Thanks for the kind words Gita Bantwal 

Hi Dusty Rhoton SRS, MRES, ABR, SRES, GRI  - that IS a bit unusual. But I have had both buyers and sellers be pretty creative when they want to come to agreement on a property.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 16 days ago

Good evening Jeff Dowler, CRS ,

Love the video..extremely valuable..counter offers are a good thing..it means the process is still being negotiated and a good outcome is possible!

Posted by Dorie Dillard, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) 16 days ago

Very clear and thorough.  Excellent reading for any buyer or seller.

Posted by Christine Kankowski North SD and Temecula, Excellent Sales and Property Management (House Match Inc) 16 days ago

Jeff Dowler, CRS - Congratulations on the feature story! You blog post is excellent! Everything you wrote was clear, to the point, and the video was fantastic! You truly excel at what you do!

Posted by Patricia Feager, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) 16 days ago

Hi Nina Hollander 

That's so important to do, especially in today's market. Having a good strategy and understanding the options is essential, especially in multi-offer situations.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 15 days ago

Thanks Lise Howe 

Some buyers don't understand the process and also make assumptions about what will happen.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 15 days ago

Thanks Richie Alan Naggar It's important for buyers to understand the process and the things that can happen with their offer.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 15 days ago

In the case of multiple offers you cannot assume there will be a counter and you will have a second chance.

Posted by Fred Dorsey, Specializing in #Divorce #Probate&Estate (Douglas Realty LLC) 15 days ago

Thanks Scott Godzyk 

I totally agree. Some buyers assume they will get a counter, while other think their offer will just get accepted and are surprised when it's not. It's important to understand how it works and what the buyer's options are (and the seller's).

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 15 days ago

Thanks Sheri Sperry - MCNE® 

I have to admit I have forgotten the call to action in some videos and had to redo them!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 15 days ago

Hey Candice A. Donofrio 

Yep I have run into that, too. Sometimes you have to explain it to them so they get what the final price IS and how we got there. It's not rocket science.

Jeff

 

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 15 days ago

Thanks for the kind words Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD  Not a very sophisticated video but I hoped it got the message across.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 15 days ago

Hi Margaret Goss 

With our market being pretty competitive, especially with multiple offers, counters don't always happen. And some buyers take the approach that "the seller can always counter" and use that as justification for a low offer. That can often backfire.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 15 days ago

Hi Jill Sackler 

Interesting how different things are in the offer process from state to state. I recall talking with several buyers from NY about the process as it compares to ours!

Thanks for the kind words!

Jeff 

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 14 days ago

Hi Grant Schneider 

That’s a very valid point. And with multiple offers sometimes you see multiple counters, but sometimes not. Buyers cannot assume they WILL get a counter, at least in this market. I always counsel buyers to put their best foot forward and not try to second-guess what might happen.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 14 days ago

Hi Jan Green 

Thanks for the compliment. Once I got into the groove of the video series it was pretty easy. I had to be careful to not talk too much, however! LOL!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 14 days ago

Hi Dorie Dillard 

Thanks for the compliment! That really IS the right way to look at counters, at least most of the time.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 14 days ago

Hi Christine Kankowski North SD and Temecula  - what a nice thing to say. Thank you!

Patricia Feager  - Thanks for such a nice compliment. Glad you liked the video!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 14 days ago

Hi Fred Dorsey 

That’s so true. Buyers should not assume they will get a counter and should be prepared. But it’s good to know how the counter offer process works just in case. Each situation is unique.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 14 days ago

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