Do you counter back on short sales?? Fredericksburg Virginia

Real Estate Agent with Samson Properties VA Lic # 0225101380

Do you counter back on a short sale offer before you turn it to the bank?  I got an offer on a house that I have listed as a short sale the other day - Not a very strong offer, so my client and I are thinking about countering on the offer before we submit it to the bank. 

Has anybody had any success with this or is it even necessary to do, since the bank will more than likely do this?  Looking to see if anybody has done this with any success. 

Thanks in Advance 


Vincent McKamy - Realtor

Coldwell Banker Elite

Serving Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania Virginia and the surrounding areas


Comments (11)

Charles Tharp
Prudential California Realty - Fontana, CA
Inland Empire, Real Estate & Short Sale Specialist

Hi Vincent,

If the offer isn't very strong and you know the bank is going to reject it or counter it themselves, then I would issue a counter myself. It not only shows you are representing your client, however it shows that you are also looking out for the bank, which in the short term can get you a faster response.

Mar 24, 2008 02:28 PM
Eric Reid
Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners - Lawrenceville, GA

GREAT question. Had a round table on this the other day. What we came up is.

1. The offer is not made to the bank it is made to the seller - so the seller has the right to except or reject all offers.

2. The seller only takes the offer to the lender as proof that they will have the agreed funds at some  date.

3. Countering on a low ball offer increases the chance that the seller will be able to get the lender approval for the short sale.


Mar 24, 2008 02:36 PM
Cami Pinsak
Keller Williams Realty - Camarillo, CA

Hi Vincent,

Since you're seller is most likely going to be taxed on the difference of the offer and what they owe, the seller should be comfortable with it. 

We've made many, many, many offers on short sales for our buyer clients.  Only once have we been countered.  I think the important thing is that you are going to have to justify to the bank the offer, so you may as well ensure it is a viable one.

Good Luck.  These short sales are tough on everyone!  I've had a buyer waiting on bank response for 3 months, now.

Mar 24, 2008 02:40 PM
Denise Allen
Resh Realty Group - Chesapeake, VA
Realtor@ Chesapeake, Hampton Roads
Hopefully some people with short sale experience will contribute and help us out.
Mar 24, 2008 03:21 PM
Allen D. Butler
The Realty Butler llc/West USA Realty, Inc. - Peoria, AZ

There's no reason to counter a short sale offer. Except maybe with your choice of title company, or to remove your client's personal property from the sale contract (washer/dryer/ref). Unless your client is non-owner occupied, they won't be paying taxes on the forgiven debt. The offer is ultimately going to be accepted or rejected by the lender. Your client has very little to do with it. Again, unless they are an investor owner. Then, it's a whole different animal.


Get The Facts About Short Sales

Mar 24, 2008 04:15 PM
Neil Kaplan - Rockland, MA

We auction short sale properties first, then work on the bank. The bank sees the open bids and that we have contracted the highest bidder. The seller sees the same, of course.  Only once did the bank (second) demand more where we asked the buyer and they came up with the difference.

If we did not auction, I would absolutely present the highest possible offer to the bank on the first shot.  Low offers go into a dead pile on the loss mitigators desk (if you even get that far). The higher the offer, the more attention you get. Most banks don't counter low offers, they just ignore them. Lately, our business is almost 100% short sales. It's actually more productive to get banks to accept current values than it is to get homeowners to accept.

Neil Kaplan

Mar 26, 2008 01:03 AM
James Wexler - Scottsdale, AZ


Great piece.   In AZ this has become quite a hot topic.  In the end the seller does have to sign the offer but really has very little say in acceptance.  The bank will ultimately decide if they want to accept it.  To me countering is a waste of you and your clients time.

by the way, Do you have an outside blog that I can add to my Blogroll ?


Thanks and look forward to reading your thoughts on the world of real estate.

Jun 16, 2008 10:33 AM
Kevin McGrath
Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania - Fredericksburg, VA
Long & Foster Real Estate Companies

I think it is a great idea - counter back hard - gives you a chance to find out if they are serious.

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Mar 12, 2013 03:52 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

You can have a discussion with the buyers' agent and see if the buyer is willing to come up if the bank counters their offer, if they are, I would just submit it, if not than I would force the issue and counter up front.

Nov 12, 2016 07:51 PM