When we submit your offer on a home, we will include a deadline by which we want to receive the seller’s response. Then, prior to the deadline, when I receive the seller’s counteroffer in writing, from the listing agent, I will then present the seller’s response to you.
The seller can counter us on any of the terms of the original offer we presented: everything from price to closing date to closing costs and other concessions we’ve requested. We will try to anticipate the possible things the seller may counter when we write the offer, in order to prepare ourselves ahead of time for how we might want to respond.
Throughout the negotiation process, we may trade responses with the seller as many times as it takes to come to a mutual agreement. We may have one counteroffer; we may have five. Sometimes, on rare occasions, we cannot reach a mutual agreement and the only thing we can do to is to walk away and make an offer on your second choice home. Most sellers who have their homes listed do want to sell, though, so having to walk away from a home that you’ve made an offer on is not a common issue.
The key to a successful negotiation is to remember that neither side will “win”: both sides will make concessions and will need to compromise from their original expectations. However, both sides should feel like they are happy with the results at the end. It should be a win/win. After all, you’re getting to buy a home that the seller wants to sell. Negotiations do not have to be contentious – they can be agreeable and friendly, as long as both sides remember that they’re both after the same goal.