Why didn't the seller counter my offer?

Real Estate Agent with Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. BK3128229

Panama City Real Estate GuideOne of the most often asked questions from my buyers is  "Why didn't the seller counter my offer?" The answer depends not only on the offer itself, but also the sellers perspective.

Many buyers mistakenly assume the seller will always counter their offer and how much the seller will counter. In actuality, the opposite is more often the case.

While most offers do receive some kind of counter, I am careful to instruct my buyers not to assume how much the counter offer will be and that it is quite possible the seller may not counter at all.


There are a number of reasons the seller may not counter an offer: Here are just a few of the more common:

Seller may feel offer was so low and too far from their asking price to effectively negotiate.

This can result from offers where either the buyer is trying to "steal" ( I don't mean literally, but "steal" as in trying to get the property well below market value) the property, or the seller's price is either over priced or very high within the market value range of the property

Seller may be in financial distress and can not afford to bring money to the closing.

We've seen this situation many times over the past years since the 2008 fall out.  Fortunately, we're seeing this less and less, but it may still be an issue for some sellers. Specially with buyers who bought short sale or foreclosure properties during the down turn and have realized that the $400,000 house or condo they bought for $100,00 requires the maintenance of a $400,000 house/condo to remain a $400,000 property.

Most sellers expect some haggle, not all have patience for hardball negotiations

Some sellers want or need to sell their property quickly for various reasons.  While they expect a limited amount of negotiating, they have neither the time nor the inclination to go back and forth over and over. Perhaps also, they've already been through a negotiation session with a different buyer and no longer have the patience to do it again.

Seller may experience feelings of sentimental value and are unwilling to come down on their pricing.

Many sellers have spent years in their "homes", raising families, improving and customizing to their likes and needs and often are unable to look at the "home" as anything other than "Their Home".  The sentimental value they place on the property, whether real or imagined may not coincide with the actual market value.

Seller may not really need or want to sell, but will wait for "their" price.

Real estate agents often will take listings for properties that are completely unreasonable in price. They take them thinking they can either get the seller to lower the price, or just to have a listing... period! When they do this they do neither the seller nor other agents and their buyers justice. Often there will be no possibility of the property even making the appraisal value, let alone get a cash offer for an over priced property!

Sellers who price their properties either at the very high end of a market value range, or well above often face the reality that it may be years before the price they "believe" their property is worth is actually worth the amount they are asking.

Recommendation for Buyers

When making an offer on a property, listen to your experienced agent. If they tell you the offer probably will not be countered, they probably and most likely know something you don't.

Recommendation for Sellers

Before listing your property for sale, ask your agent for comparable sale prices in your area. If you're property is over priced for your market, perhaps lowering the price or waiting to sell is a better alternative. You have to remember, the longer your property sits on the market, the more expensive it is for you: Additional mortgage and insurance payments.

And if you are over priced and your agent tells you we can negotiate when offers come, realize that if you are that much over priced chances are no offers will be forth coming.

Similar properties in a given market which are priced appropriately for that market, we expect to sell within the first 30 - 45 days or sonner!

Has your property been on the market longer than that?

CALL ME today 850.774.6582 to sell your property quickly and for the highest price possible!

Remember: The Panama City Realty Group Sells Homes, Condos and Commercial properties in Bay County, Florida


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Jennifer Mackay in Panama City

Jennifer Mackay
Panama City Realty Group
850-774-6582 Cell
Counts Realty Group, Inc
3009 Highway 77, Suite H
Panama City, Florida 32405





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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTACONDOS.COM 02/24/2018 08:36 AM
  2. Jessie Cochran 02/26/2018 03:41 PM
  3. M.C. Dwyer 03/01/2018 08:41 AM
  4. Will Hamm 04/24/2018 04:30 PM
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Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

With the market being strong I am finding sellers who get insulted with a low offer. They do not always get you a counter.

Feb 24, 2018 08:38 AM #5
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I give this blog a 10 + and it is so true.  Buyers do get upset and think the seller should counter but there are a number of reasons that they may not.  Would It be okay if I reblog this in about 3 weeks?


Feb 24, 2018 08:47 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jennifer- this is so true. Listen to your agents first! There are so many reasons but the best thing is hire the right agent in the first place. 

Feb 24, 2018 03:34 PM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


Feb 24, 2018 05:57 PM #8
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jennifer. Correct that seller has no obligation to counter! Make your first offer a good one! Enjoy your day!

Feb 25, 2018 04:45 AM #9
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Jennifer, I just had this happen. The buyers knew the house would likely sell at one price and then offered nearly $40K less. The listing agent actually scolded me for submitting it. It went under contract that day with a much higher offer than my buyers made. We had talked about where it was likely to sell until I was blue in the face. When they told me their offer price, I was dumbfounded. I just wrote it, sent it and waited for the rejection. It was swift. No counter.

Feb 25, 2018 05:47 AM #10
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Jennifer

It IS often a question that buyers ask and you addressed possible responses well. And it's true even in our seller's market with multiple offers. There are no guarantees there will be a counter nor should buyers assume there will be. It seems that some buyers use the thinking that "they can always counter" as an excuse to submit a low offer, without considering they may simply be rejected outright. End of discussion.


Feb 25, 2018 01:00 PM #11
Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Jennifer some buyers are shocked when they don't get a counter back, and yes, I get asked the same question from time to time. I learned from my very first broker how to counsel a seller on whether countering in each situation is a good idea, or not. Some folks think a counter is always the best thing to do but I do not and haven't in many years. 

Feb 25, 2018 02:59 PM #12
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Well written, Jennifer Mackay. Your explanation is on target and should be helpful to help "these" buyers understand their situation better.

Thanks for sharing.


Feb 25, 2018 03:21 PM #13
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good evening Jennifer - in these transactions there is much emotion and people have trouble with the facts.

Feb 25, 2018 03:23 PM #14
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I've had that a lot too.  Recently a buyer said "you can't NOT counter me"  Yeah, okay, watch me.

Feb 25, 2018 09:11 PM #15
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Great post and information that will be helpful to many sellers and buyers.

Feb 26, 2018 04:30 PM #16
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Great post, Jennifer Mackay ! A buyer can't always expect a counter offer - for any number of the above reasons (or even a combination of a few!)

Feb 27, 2018 05:32 AM #17
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Great post.

We still have people who think that the market should be like it was in 2007.

They think sellers are trying to gouge them.

Many times I am not surprised the seller does not respond with a counter offer.


Feb 27, 2018 07:31 AM #18
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

What a great explanation of the oh so many reasons a seller might not give a buyer a counter offer.    I saw above that you are open to us reblogging your post - thank you!   If not, just let me know!

Mar 01, 2018 08:34 AM #19
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Jennifer, this is a terrific post! Buyers sometimes do not understand that the seller is not required to counter - and a "no thank you" is a response to their offer. Not exactly a counter, but a response, and that is all that is needed!

Mar 26, 2018 05:33 AM #20
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Make a low ball offer. In this market you MAY NOT get an offer. Not a big surprise there.

Mar 26, 2018 06:41 PM #21
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Jennifer Mackay,

I'm so glad that Will Hamm re-blogged your post! Excellent! I guess some buyers just don't get it and have to try it..what a lesson especially if they liked the house.

Apr 24, 2018 05:00 PM #22
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

I am also glad Will Hamm  re-blogged this as I missed this post -- Are these buyers lookers or buyers ?

Apr 24, 2018 05:18 PM #23
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

 When better offers are at hand...counter or multiple counter is just not what a Seller is likely to do.

Apr 25, 2018 03:33 AM #24
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