What response can I expect after making an offer on an Austin home? There are 5 possible reactions from the seller when your Austin buyer’s agent presents your offer.
#1: The Seller Can Formally Reject Your Offer
The seller or their agent can inform you that your offer is unacceptable and the seller will not be offering a counter offer. A reason may or may not be given.
#2: The Seller Can Ignore Your Offer
The seller can ignore your offer which obviously is one form of rejection. Occasionally sellers are inconsiderate and don’t have the courtesy of offering a response, but there is a clear message here. They are not interested in the offer you have made.
#3: The Seller can Submit a Counter Offer to You Exclusively
Any modification to your offer is construed as a counter offer, and it renders the original offer dead. That means that should you reject the seller’s counter offer, the seller cannot accept your original offer unless you agree. Conversely, if you make a counter offer and the seller rejects it, you cannot make the seller accept your original offer. During this period, the seller may sell to anyone else.
Counter Offers are Often Verbal
The counter offer states the changes that the seller would like to see to your original offer. In Austin we often see this in the form of an email from the seller’s agent stating the changes the seller would like the buyer to make, but sometimes they offer a formal counter offer in writing. Buyers from other parts of the country may find the informal verbal (email) response strange (as we do) and it isn’t how we’d do business if we represented the seller, but verbal counter offers are common in the Austin market.
How Long Can Negotiations Last?
If you accept the seller’s counter offer and return the signed document to the seller within the time allotted, a binding contract is in force. The seller and buyer can negotiate back and forth until there is a mutually agreed upon contract or one of the parties terminates the negotiations. If the parties are intractable, the negotiations can get frustrating.
#4: The Seller Can Submit Multiple Counter Offers
The seller can submit counter offers to you and others, which often happens when they receive multiple offers. We call this multiple counter offers and it can be very tricky. Since the seller has only one house to sell, the language in the multiple counter offer must state that the seller reserves the right of final acceptance. Usually, in a multiple offer situation, instead of a formal written multiple counter offer, sellers ask buyer to re-submit their “highest and best offer” usually imposing a time deadline.
For more about multiple offer strategies, check out our post How to Succeed with Multiple Offers.
#5: The Seller Can Accept Your Offer
This is the main goal when we help a buyer write an offer. We want the seller to agree to all points in the buyer’s offer with no changes. The seller formalizes the acceptance by signing your offer and returning a signed copy to you. Now you and the seller are “in contract.” This starts the escrow period.
Seller Can Accept Another Offer at Any Time During Negotiation
The seller has the right to sell the property to anyone else during negotiations with you. No one, except the sellers and their agent, know if negotiations are ongoing with another prospective buyer and they are not required to tell either buyer about the other, although they may as a negotiation tactic. It’s possible for you to lose the home while negotiations are going on. Austin’s housing market is booming, the best homes sell quickly and for top dollar.
Negotiation is All About Finding Common Ground
Negotiation tactics can be arguable, but an excellent bit of advice about negotiation is: “never be the last person to say no.” If finding common ground is possible, keep talking. Try not to let your ego get in the way of buying the home you really want.
Looking to Buy a Home in Austin? Work with a Buyer’s Specialist
We are a real estate team specializing in buyers in the Austin area. We have the tools and market knowledge to help you get a great deal on a home, even in this competitive Austin housing market. Check out our Austin Buyer Representation Program to learn more about who we are and how we work. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.