When making an offer on any home there is always the risk that the owner will refuse, for whatever reason. When working with a real estate agent this usually means that you simply need to discuss any counter offers made, if any, and let them handle the paperwork for you.
However, things can get a little bit more complex if you are trying to buy a home that is for sale by owner. Without an agent to handle the negotiations, you will find that you have to deal directly with the owner, which can be your undoing if you are not careful. Follow these tips to have a better chance of making a successful counter offer.
Always Be Polite
The last thing you should ever do when making a counter offer on any home is to be impolite about it, even if you believe that the owner is trying to get much more money than the home is actually worth. You should remain civil at all times and, where possible, explain the reasoning behind whatever offers you make.
This goes double for homes that are for sale by owner, as they can choose to reject the offer if they are not happy with your attitude, even if you think it is a fair offer.
Understand Counter offers
The etiquette behind a counter offer means that it voids the original offer as soon as you make it. You should always be aware of this and act accordingly when speaking to someone who is trying to sell a home.
Before upping your offer, you should be absolutely certain that you want to do so. After all, there is no going back if you offer more and the seller accepts the new offer, so always do the research and ensure you have the budget available to make the new offer.
Don’t Lowball Too Often
Once an offer for a property has been refused it is essentially voided. If the seller is open to counter offers and you really want the house then you should be careful not to make them feel insulted by offering less than the property is worth.
Remember that the seller has no obligation to sell to you just because you made an earlier offer. If somebody comes along offering more money you are likely going to lose out, so be careful when selecting how much you want to spend, as trying to sweeten the deal for yourself too much could end up being a bad idea.
Remember the Legal Aspects
Offers on a home are not something to be done flippantly. Remember that each one made is a point of law as well, which means you should never take making one lightly. If you end up making an offer that you can’t afford because you are desperate to get the house, this will not go over well in the legal sense as well as with the seller. Take some advice from a professional if you are unsure, even if you don’t use them to make the actual offer.