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How to Counter Offer on Your Flat Fee MLS Listing Effectively

Now you have received an offer from a serious potential buyer, but what happens when you were expecting just a little bit more than they are suggesting? You counter offer with a slightly different deal. In real estate sales, this is a very common occurrence, and today we are going to look at how you can counter offer effectively to sell your flat fee MLS listing.

What is a Counter Offer?

How to Counter Offer Effectively

A counter offer is an offer that you return to a potential buyer after they have submitted an offer to buy a house from you. Usually, counter offers will state that the seller accepts the buyer's offer if they subject to certain particulars. Typical particulars address such items as:

  • Changing service providers (title company)
  • Altering a closing or possession date
  • Refusals to pay for certain reports, fees or repairs
  • Excluding personal property from the contract
  • Increasing the size of the earnest money deposit
  • Modifying or removing contingency times frames
  • Total consideration which generally means a higher price

Counter offers can go back-and-forth for many rounds and there is no typical amount of them that you can expect. Though generally, you would want to avoid too many back-and-forth debates because both you and the buyer may become frustrated and lose interest in the sale and purchase of your home.

How to Sweeten the Deal on your MLS Listing

Obviously while you and the potential buyer are in negotiations, you want to present a good counter offer so that they will quickly accept and you can both move onto the next phase of selling your home with your list for sale by owner.

Firstly, you should take the time to find out the reason why a buyer is looking for a home. They might need to move into the area quickly for work or schooling commitments and may need to close a deal quickly. You should try to ask the buyer indirect questions to determine the motivation behind their interest. This could definitely help with a better counter offer.

Secondly, take the time to recheck the area's property values. Also factor in additions and missing features when comparing similar houses for sale in your neighborhood, whether it’s the Florida real estate market or another one entirely. Returning a counter offer that is too high to the buyer could mean the end of negotiations altogether.

Next, you should remind the buyer of the things that they really enjoyed about your home and MLS listing, and include a statement about why the buyer should not wait, such as other offers or a rise in interest rates for mortgages. Also take this time to add incentives. These could include appliances in the listing with a new warranty, an earlier or later closing date depending on the buyer's needs, or personal items that you would be willing to sell alongside the house.

If you can, delay the counter offer. If there is not a very specific clause in the offer stating that you must respond at a certain time, wait a day to three before counter offering to put pressure on the buyer to reconsider their original offer on your MLS listing. Take the time to consider any other offer you may receive during that waiting period. There may be another very serious buyer who will make a great offer that needs no countering in that time.

Lastly, place your counter offer and wait to see if it will be accepted. Consider making a slightly lower offer if the buyer returns with a higher offer, but not quite what you wanted. And do remember that this could go on for a few more rounds and is normal.

In summary: Making a good counter offer does not have to be difficult if you know what both you and the potential buyer really want to get out of the situation. Take the time to feel out the buyer and do not be afraid to throw in or remove amenities when the offers seem to be taking a bit longer than you expected.