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6 FAQs About Home Seller Counter Offers

Have you received an offer on your house, but you don’t like all its terms? While you can make a counter offer, you should know how it will impact your final sale. Here are the answers to six commonly asked questions about counter offers.
Have you received an offer on your house, but you don’t like all its terms? While you can make a counter offer, you should know how it will impact your final sale. Here are the answers to six commonly asked questions about counter offers.

Yay! You’ve received an offer on your house! But what if it’s not for the price you’d wanted? Enter the counter offer.

Making counter offers in real estate can be confusing and tricky. The first step is contacting a real estate agent who will negotiate with your interests in mind.

Further more, you need to understand the basics of counter offers. Read on for answers to six common questions about the counter offer.

How do you counter a lowball offer on a house?

Always respond with a counter offer, but base it on facts. When you first listed your home, your realtor probably prepared a comparative market analysis to select a price. Use those comparable sales to argue why your home is worth more.

No home seller wants to receive a lowball offer on their house. $20,000 below asking price? Forget it! You might be tempted to reject the offer, but take a step back.

Remove your emotions from the negotiation process and remember your etiquette. An offer indicates interest, and some home buyers just throw in the lowest number to see if you’ll accept it. You could still use this offer to close a sale closer to what you want for your house.


Responding politely, but firmly, indicates a willingness to negotiate that could turn a lowball offer into an excellent offer.

Can a seller counter above asking price?

Yes, a seller can counter with any price at all. You’re not bound by your listing price, and it’s better to think of it as a starting point.


In a seller’s market, you could receive several offers. It’s perfectly acceptable to go back to the buyers and request more than your asking price or ask one buyer to meet another buyer’s offer. If you’re unsure of how to handle these negotiations, discuss it with your realtor and leave it in their capable hands.

How much can you negotiate when selling a house?

You can negotiate as much as you want when selling a house, just be aware that the more you negotiate, the longer it will take to close on the sale. Most commonly, the price, the closing timeline, appliances, contingencies, who pays closing costs, and inspections are all negotiable.


All of these items will be contained within an offer, and when you counter offer, you can shift or change them. Maybe you want another week to pack and move out, or your new home won’t be ready for occupancy. Negotiate a different close date.

When negotiating, think about how items other than just the sale price impact your final profit. Staying in the home another week could cost you most interest or more utility costs.

Can a seller withdraw a counter offer?

Yes, a seller can withdraw a counter offer. When countering with a buyer, ask your agent to use a form which allows you to withdraw. This is particularly important when countering with several buyers.

Most counter offers will have a deadline by which the buyer must respond. If you receive a better offer before the deadline, you can back out of the other negotiation. Your realtor will provide guidance on withdrawing an offer or asking the buyer if you can keep their offer as a back-up.

What happens if a buyer doesn’t accept a counter offer?

Just like a seller isn’t obligated to accept an offer, a buyer isn’t obligated to accept a counter offer. Nor do they have to negotiate any items with you, though this is more common in a buyer’s market.

The buyer can either withdraw entirely from the transaction, counter, or state that they’ll make no changes to their original offer. If they withdraw, negotiations are over and you’ll have to wait for the next offer. You can always accept their original proposal, but since the reasons that you countered remain, you might want to walk away.

Does a counter offer void the original offer?

Yes, each subsequent offer and counter offer replaces the one before it until you reach a mutually acceptable agreement. This also means that neither the buyer nor seller is legally responsible for anything in the previous offer.

If you have any questions about counter offers when selling a house, a Clever Partner Agent can help you. Partner Agents are top-rated in their local markets and know the ins and outs of negotiating counter offers. Plus they will list your home for a flat fee of $3,000 or 1% of homes over $350,000.

Reach out to be connected with an agent today!



Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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