Mr. Seller You Didn't Accept Our Offer On Your House-It's Okay We're Not Heartbroken

Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

You Didn't Accept Our Offer But We're Not HeartbrokenWe made an offer on your home that you have been trying to sell for over 6 months.  We know our offer wasn't full price and we did ask for some seller concessions but your rejection shows you might not be fully attuned to the local market conditions.

You asked us how we picked our offer price?  Well let's see.  We looked at the comps that our buyer's agent provided.  In this case another house in your neighborhood just sold for your asking price minus seller concessions.  We looked at the property and saw that it had granite counters, stainless steel appliances, updated bathrooms, a walk-out basement and an extra full bath among other things.

Your house doesn't have any of those.  Now don't get us wrong your house has good bones and from our visits we believe you've kept it up with the basic maintenance. We noticed some items which are going to need replacing soon but we can budget for those.  However you haven't done the upgrades your neighbor did to make us fall in love with your home.   We liked your home and our offer wasn't an insult.  In fact we wanted to make a lower offer but our agent talked us out of it as she wanted us to be reasonable.

Your rejection of our offer is just a hiccup in the home buying process.  There are dozens of homes on the market similiar to yours and in our price range.  Yours had a few things that put it on the top of our list but we don't have stars in our eyes.  We are realists and know the current inventory allows us flexibility.  We're sorry you don't see your house in the same light as we do but we understand you have different ties to it than we have.

We don't have any hard feelings but we aren't heartbroken by your decision.  There is another house that will meet our needs and a seller who might have a better understanding of the current market in our area.  Good luck and best wishes.

Posted by

                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations. 

Military Relocation Professional

Check out and for more information.

Integrity Real Estate Group
Real People*Real Life*Real Estate

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia



Comments (129)

Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Marte-no one on our side of the transaction is angry over the outcome.  Just a bit puzzled but I'm sure there are reasons that we don't understand as to why the owner wasn't interested in a counter-offer.

Aug 08, 2010 02:56 PM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Frank-we don't have 80% of our homes on the market for that long.  I believe our avg DOM is under 90.  So a property on the market for 6 monthis usually means a problem of some sort.


Roberto-thanks.  Hopefully they won't have any regrets  and they will get the offer they want.

Nicole-at least you knew what their number was.

Aug 08, 2010 02:59 PM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Alan-or just aren't quite ready to move yet.

Aug 08, 2010 02:59 PM
Monica Atherton
eXp Realty - Georgetown, TX
Your Georgetown Real Estate Gal

Great post Cindy.  I always include my comps with my offer so that the listing agent (standard sale and reo) can see how we arrived at our offer.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

Aug 08, 2010 03:10 PM
Donna Sweeney
Traverse City, MI

Great post. Almost every seller I listed has told me "My property is special". And it is special to them.  They may love the giant walnut trees in the yard and they expect somebody will pay that extra $10,000 just to get those wonderful trees.  Or maybe it is the beautiful floral wallpaper they cherish or the beautiful fountain of the boy peeing in the front yard (it is an exact copy of the one in Belgium).

It is so hard to show the seller the comps and have them agree that their home is not as nice as the neighbor with the granite countertops... afterall their house is special.

I hope your buyer finds the perfect home!

Aug 08, 2010 05:31 PM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Monica-I talked over the comps with the listing agent.  Didn't see to resinate and so I didn't push it.  At that point you figure the deal isn't going anywhere.

Aug 09, 2010 12:37 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Donna-for owners who have a strong emotional tie to their home no amount of money is going to compensate them for it.  If we don't do a good job as a listing agent of helping take the emotion out of it chances are we will end up with a seller who won't let go at any price. 

Aug 09, 2010 12:38 AM
Noah Levy
Coldwell Banker - Highland Park, IL
Coldwell Banker Highland Park IL


Amazing post - it's often times too late for the seller to recognize that they past up a good offer- especially if nothing else comes their way for a long time.  Buyers today have lots of choices and sellers need to realize this or they may lose out

Aug 09, 2010 02:57 AM
DeAnn Wandler
Rocky Point Schoolhouse - Weatherby Lake, MO

Cindy - very well written.  I enjoyed reading your post as well as Tom's counter-post.  It is evident you both have written controversial posts and engaged the community in some passionate comments.  Both, I believe, were also non-traditional examples of what is seen on a daily basis.  In your case, $15k below the asking price was reasonable enough to warrant a counter-offer (I still wonder why one wasn't at least initiated by the sellers and sellers agent -- shame!).  And in Tom's example, it is clear the buyers weren't working with an experienced agent who could help them execute an educated offer based on the home values in that area.

I would like to caution us to remember that every seller who doesn't counter doesn't mean s/he isn't motivated.  As we are all TOO aware, the economy has dictated current home values.  Company downsizing, layoffs, salary cut-backs, and the removal of bonuses and incentives, have factored into why many homeowners are currently selling.  It is a very sad situation indeed.  Consider our reality.....the significantly reduced home values --- minus the agent commission ranging from an average of $12k - $30k ---- minus the lower offer (to what extent?) --- and minus any extras buyers ask for such as closing costs, HOA fees, repairs, etc....  ------

I believe most every seller who has their home on the market is motivated.  Why on earth would anyone have their home on the market in a depressed economy if they weren't motivated (minus investors, flippers, etc).  The question remains, HOW motivated?  Motivated enough to walk away with a financial hit, be bruised but able to recover ---- walk away financially run over, bring money to the table but at least still have their credit --- or are they motivated enough to walk away completely and foreclose?   Unfortunately, we've seen all of the above, making this a very sad state of affairs, indeed.

I post this comment only to gently remind us that these are real people (buyers and sellers), with real problems and real responsibilities that we cannot assume to know.  Although frustrating, especially because we may be experiencing some of the same financial drains during this time, let's remain compassionate human beings.   All buyers are not trying to get a home for next to nothing, just as all sellers are not unrealistic in their expectations.  By asking more questions of each party, we can gain a better understanding of what the buyer expects for their money, what their ranges are and appropriately show them properties that fit their needs/expectations.  With a thorough understanding of the sellers needs and a realistic understanding between the seller and seller's agent, the agent can then be empowered to do their job properly and help the seller through.....what may be a difficult adjustment.

I hope your buyer finds the home that resonates with them soon, Cindy.  On a side note, I noticed you are a military relocation specialist in the Virginia area.  I have great respect and admiration for those who help our soldiers and their families.  Being former Marine, I can tell you that your expertise and guidance is needed and appreciated by those families.  Keep up the good work!



Aug 09, 2010 03:26 AM
Carolyn Roland- In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Independent architectural histor'n - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

This is a side-effect of our economy--sellers may be close to or already at the point where they will have to hand over money at settlement. If this is not the situation, shame on their agent for not encouraging them to counter-offer. And if they did do this and the sellers didn' listen to their agent, shame on them. At that point, all you can say is, "NEXT!"

Aug 09, 2010 05:08 AM
ZipRealty - Volente, TX

I identify with you completely. My client made an offer two weeks ago that was very fair for the area and for the current market (pretty much top dollar/sqft) but the sellers couldn't come to terms with it and rejected the offer. So we moved on and needless to say the house is still on the market after 4 months when most homes sell within 1-2 months in the immediate area.

Aug 09, 2010 06:10 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Noah-I've had a few clients who waited out a seller who rejected their first offer.  In one case a few months later they ended up with the home for less than their initial offer.

Aug 09, 2010 06:43 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

DeAnn-points well taken and articulated.  Would be a great blog post itself.  I'm sure my buyers will find another choice soon.  Thank you for your service to our county.   I am passoniate about helping military families and I hope it shows. 

Aug 09, 2010 06:47 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Carolyn-i've had a couple of sellers who have made the decision to bring money to the table this year.  They decided the time was right for them to make a move.  As my clients said they aren't heartbroken but we didn't think we were so far off that there wouldn't be a negotiation.

Aug 09, 2010 06:49 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Lydia-for some sellers making the decision to accept or counter an offer so they can move on is a tough one.

Aug 09, 2010 06:50 AM
Donald Tepper
Long and Foster - Fairfax, VA
DC area investor helping heirs of inherited homes

The thing I find interesting/odd about the scenario is that the sellers: "asked us how we picked our offer price." It's OK for sellers to reject an offer. Maybe they're fixated on a higher number. Maybe they owe so much they can't afford to accept a lower number. Maybe their agent has all but guaranteed that if they hold out long enough, they'll get more. Maybe their brother-in-law has told them that their house is worth every penny of the listing price. Maybe their agent presented some comps that appear to suggest the higher figure. Or maybe those comps were from 7-8 months ago, when the higher figure was pretty close to accurate.

Still, rejecting--rather than countering--seems to say one of two things: "We're so far apart that a counter would be meaningless." (But in your scenario it doesn't seem as if the gap was that great.) Or "I can't afford to accept anything less than I'm asking." (And that could be, especially in Woodbridge.) And either one of those is OK.

It's surprising, though, that the sellers then asked the buyers how they picked the offer price. Why did they even bother asking?

And considering they rejected the offer, I'm not sure they've earned a detailed explanation, as you generously provided them. Maybe something polite, short and sweet, along the lines of: "Because that's what my buyers felt your house was worth to them" would have sufficed.  

Aug 09, 2010 08:32 AM
Gary & Melynda Wolter, Since 2001, 480-269-1164
ProSmart Realty - Mesa, AZ
Reliable, Premier Personal Service since 2001


Seller's need feirce negotiators right now! It's not where they start the offer, it's where do you want to end up? Everyone thinks the economy is so is not in our area. Just advise and consult as best as possible. Don't let a good buyer slip away....

Great advice :)


Sep 02, 2010 04:21 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Gary and Melynda-and the house is still on the market today!

Sep 02, 2010 10:12 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

There are alot of choices out there. Some Sellers think that market conditions apply to everyone but them.

Sep 24, 2010 05:13 PM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Tigard-the home that this post refered to has been withdrawn from the market. 

Sep 24, 2010 11:28 PM