When buying a home in Portland you’re probably going to submit an offer first and foremost. That offer will state how much you’re willing to pay for the property, any contingencies, and the details of the terms. But what if you get that offer back in the form of a counter offer? What do you do with a counter offer and what are your rights as a homebuyer?
How to deal with counter offers.
A counter offer is a response given to an initial offer. It means the original offer was rejected and replaced with another offer. This typically gives the original offer three options; accept the offer, rejected it, or make another offer.
The important thing to remember is not to panic when you get a counter offer. Essentially, the seller is communicating with you and even if they didn’t like your terms to begin with, it doesn’t mean that everything is out the window. However, there’s usually a three-day response window, and if that expires, the seller can accept another offer from a different party. If you choose to reinstate the offer, the three-day window recess. However, this needs to have a lot of communication to everyone knows what page thereon, and where and how to respond.
Read First: How to Make an Offer on a Home
Are counter offers a good idea?
Counter offers are neither good nor bad they are simply a renegotiation tactic from sellers and buyers. Counteroffers can go back and forth numerous, if not unlimited times until both parties can either accept the terms or one of them rejects it outright and terminates the start of the deal altogether.
Try not to get hung up on one term or price.
Counteroffers can get a little bit heated, especially if you have emotions first. Remember this is simply a negotiation on a product and you shouldn’t feel insulted regardless of what side of the deal you are on. Buyers are simply trying to get the best deal and sellers are trying to get the most profit from the sale. If you go in with a win/win in mind, both parties can end up feeling good about the deal.
Price is not the only counter offer option.
There are many different factors and parts to a purchase and sale contract. While the price might be ideal, terms may not be, in which case many sellers make counter offer and renegotiate those terms. This might be contingencies, closing dates, who pays what in selling costs etc. All of these terms can make or break a deal so it’s important to talk to the listing agent ahead of time and find out the motivation for the seller and what they really want. This can be one of the very first steps to take in submitting an offer that will be attractive to both buyer and seller.
What if you simply want to move on?
If the deal seems to be at a stalemate and no one can find mutual ground, it may be time to terminate the deal and move on. This doesn’t have to be a highly emotional tactic. Your buyers agent can simply tell the listing agent that the deal cannot go through and the counter offer is rejected. The seller will need to accept an offer from another party and the buyer will need to find another home.
Can we verbally agree to terms?
Anything can be verbally talked through but for it to be legally binding it will need to be signed, authorized, and/or initialed by both buyer and seller and any other parties involved. Buyers and sellers can discuss terms and price ahead of time and then put them down legally in the purchase and sale contract to be signed and agreed upon by both parties. Anything that is verbally agreed upon but not in writing cannot be upheld in court.
Can you counter a best and final offer?
What if the seller comes back and says this is their final offer, can you still submit a counter offer? Yes. A buyer can still counter a sellers offer even after the seller presents a final offer. However, if the buyer has already signed a contract the offer and the acceptance of the offer are legally binding. This is why it’s important to discuss all factors and parts as well as terms and price ahead of time before finalizing the purchase and sale contract. Only when mutual acceptance occurs can the deal move on to pending, home inspection, and closing. Everything comes down to getting this offer and purchase and sale contract correct and accurate for both parties.
Do you have more questions on an offer or counteroffer situation in the Portland real estate market? Feel free to contact us below at any time. We help buyers and sellers come together over the right property throughout the Portland metro area as well as Southwest Washington, Vancouver, and South Portland.