The Seller’s Counter Offer: Sellers, choose your battles carefully

The Seller’s Counter Offer: Sellers, choose your battles carefully

Seller's Counter Offer

My home buyers put an excellent offer on a home they wished to purchase – what we refer to in the industry as a “clean offer” – and my Buyers awaited the Seller’s counter offer. My home buyers offered an extremely fair price, a huge earnest money amount (3% of sales price), asked for a minimal amount in repair cost, and asked for a quick close. We didn’t ask for closing costs and didn’t have a string of demands – it was a fair, attractive and clean offer with conventional financing through a local and reputable Lender. We countered once and had almost come to a price and terms that all agreed upon.

Excited about their new home purchase, my home buyers wanted to visit a second time to show friends, measure for appliances and re-examine a few things they might want to modify. On our subsequent visit, we noticed that there was not an electronic garage door opener, although there obviously had been at one time. It was our turn to counter, so we added to the contract “Seller to purchase/install Brand X electronic garage door opener at no cost to Buyer.” Cost was approximately $600.

We then patiently awaited the Seller’s counter offer. There were no external handles on the garage doors. There was no way to lock or open the garage door other than from the inside of the house.

And, the Sellers refused to spend $600 to provide my Buyer’s their desired garage door opener. I was dumb-founded.

Now, my home buyers just negotiated their home sale. They worked very hard to compromise with their Buyer – they came down a significant amount on their sales price and agreed to pay a portion of the Buyer’s closing costs. They were FAIR and GENEROUS when negotiating their counter offer. So, imagine their reaction when THEIR Seller refused a simple request of accessing the garage?

Seller's Counter Offer - Negotiate in good faith

This did not go over well with my Buyers, particularly Gabbi. I asked my Buyers to “sleep on it” and reminded them to think of the “big picture” – all those comforting things Realtors say to their frustrated clients.

Well, Gabbi thought about it and jumped right back on the computer to house shop. The next day she had selected two more houses she wanted to see.

The Seller’s Counter Offer: Sellers, choose your battles carefully

And, as you might have guessed the “end of the story,” we all fell in love with one of Gabbi’s selections. Better floor plan, much larger and open, better price, guest bathrooms in more convenient places, utility room in a better location, and, although it’s NOT an industry standard – this house had better “karma.”

The Seller of the first house gets to keep his $600 he would have had to spend on garage door openers. And, he gets to keep his house until the next offer comes along.

Sellers – pick your battles. Negotiate in good faith. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Pick up your crayons and put them back in the box, please. Take a nap.

When you counter your offer, please think that your Buyer may be just like my Buyer – she might just find your counter offer offensive and continue to shop.

And, instead of the clean offer we just presented you, your next offer may be cluttered with objectionable demands and a laundry list of requests. The longer your house stays on the market, the dirtier your next offer will be.

Lori is a residential Realtor serving the greater Tulsa area, and specializing in midtown Tulsa real estate. Please visit Lori’s web site, or call 918-852-5036.


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About Lori Cain

Lori Cain has written 1316 post in this blog.

Tulsa Realtor serving the greater Tulsa area and specializing in midtown Tulsa real estate. Married to best friend, Demetrius Bereolos and mom to pups Penny and Osage. Great chef, community leader!