Rejected Offer

Why Your Offers Keep Being Rejected

You’ve found your dream home and put in an offer. You figure there’s no way the seller won’t accept – it was such a great offer, after all! But the next day, your world is shattered: they rejected it. To make matters worse, they didn’t even counter. You rack your brain wondering what you may have done wrong and how you’ll ever find another house as perfect as that one.

If your offer was rejected without a counter, you may be out of luck on that particular dream house. But the good news is there may be a way to avoid rejection when you make the offer on the next one. Here are five reasons your offer may have been rejected, and how you can change it up next time.

  1. Your Offer Was Too Low. This is the first and most obvious reason an offer may get rejected. You can of course offer whatever you’d like to on a property – you never know when a seller may just surprise you and accept a crazy low offer! – but often, a seller won’t seriously consider it. They may even be offended. Put yourself in their shoes – if you were selling and someone offered you $25,000 less than what you were asking, how would you feel? It’s one thing to ask for a few thousand below the asking price; it’s another to try and get the house for nothing!
    • How to Avoid it Next Time: Ask your realtor what similar homes in the area have recently gone for to give you a good idea of what to offer. It’s also worth noting that if the home was recently listed, your offer may be too low right now, but maybe a month or two down the road if the home’s still on the market, it may be worth a shot if the seller is in a hurry to sell. Finally, be realistic with your budget: you just simply might not be able to afford a home like that right now, and that’s okay.
  1. You Asked for Things That Aren’t Included. Many sellers may accept a price offer, but decline the request for all of the appliances, shed, drapes, kennel, and so forth that you asked for. Then again, some may work out a counter that includes some of these items, and some may go ahead and say, “Why not? Take it all!” It’s okay to ask your realtor about including certain things in your offer – if there’s nothing that says the fridge isn’t not included, why not give it a try? Most sellers won’t reject an offer based on that alone. However, the big problem comes when a seller specifically says certain things aren’t included in the sale but a buyer asks for them anyway, or if the buyer gets greedy and asks for too much to be included.
    • How to Avoid it Next Time: Do your research beforehand: if the seller says the play structure out back is not up for negotiation, just don’t ask for it. And remember not to get greedy. If you really like the chandelier and the fridge, and nothing suggests the sellers are absolutely taking them along, it doesn’t hurt to ask. But don’t try and get too much; it can get annoying.
  1. Your Offer is Contingent. This is a big one and can sometimes be difficult to navigate. If you make an offer on a home that’s contingent upon the selling of your previous home, your offer may be rejected on the spot, even if everything else about your offer was perfect. This is often because the seller doesn’t have the time to wait around for your home to sell. If they do accept a contingent offer, they also run the risk of losing out on other potential non-contingent offers if the sell of your home falls through. It also may be difficult on your end if you don’t have an in-between option, meaning you need somewhere to move as soon as your current house gets closed on.
    • How to Avoid it Next Time: If you have the luxury of living near willing family or friends who will let you stay with them temporarily, or if you know of short-term rentals options in your area, it’s probably best not to make any offers until the home you’re selling is sold and closed on. Then you’ll be free to make whatever offers you want with the down payment in hand, and you won’t run the risk of being declined due to contingency. You’ll be a seller’s dream! If you don’t have the luxury of staying somewhere short-term, you can keep making offers until you find someone willing to accept your contingency – plenty of sellers do – or you’re in a more desperate situation, you may just have to rent for a year.
  1. Your Time Frame Doesn’t Work for the Seller. Along similar lines as a contingency, if you won’t be able to move in for three months, your offer may be rejected simply because the seller doesn’t have that long to wait.
    • How to Avoid it Next Time: This is a situation in which you may have to put house hunting on hold for a couple months until you’re closer to being ready to move within 30-60 days, which is average in most places for closing on a new home.
  1. The Seller/Seller’s Agent/Buyer’s Agent is Difficult to Work With. Some people just are just difficult. A seller may reject a perfect, asking price offer with no contingencies or additional items asked for…just because they want a different time frame. Or, they may reject a perfectly reasonable offer because they want asking price, even if they’re asking too high. On the other hand, an agent (whether yours or the seller’s) may be very difficult to work with for a myriad of possible reasons, and the seller (or their agent) just doesn’t want to deal with the offer you’ve made, or work with your agent if they’re the one with the bad reputation.
    • How to Avoid it Next Time: If the seller is just difficult and unrealistic, there’s really nothing you can do in and of yourself. Let it go and move on – you’ll find the right house eventually. This is the same regarding the seller’s agent. However, if it’s your agent that’s the difficult one to work with, this is something you have a say in. Do your research ahead of time before ever working with a real estate agent and ask around. A real estate agent or agency’s reputation in the community is very important when it comes to working with banks, title companies, sellers, and buyers. (We hear the folks at The Collins Connection are practically perfect!)

Following the advice suggested here is sure to help you along your homebuying journey. Don’t be discouraged if you have an offer or two rejected – almost every home buyer and seller has been there.  If your offers are continuously rejected, it’s time to revisit your offer strategy. However, it’s also important to remember that sometimes it’s just not the right fit. Most sellers don’t want to reject an offer – they want to sell their home! The ultimate home buying advice is to be patient, think before you act, and do your research. Happy house hunting!