So you just made a great offer to purchase the property. Now what? One of three things could happen:

  • The seller accepts your counter offer and you jump with joy and open escrow!
  • The seller denies your offer, potentially because the offer price was too low or one of the other deal terms was a deal breaker. This is more likely to happen when the seller has multiple, stronger offers to choose from.
  • The seller counters back some of the terms in the offer.

Usually a seller will counter back on one or more of the below:

  • Home purchase price
  • Length of close or closing date
  • Requested seller credits or inspections (eg: termite)
  • Contingencies or length of contingencies requested by the buyer
  • May require a second pre-approval from their preferred lender

Your response to the counter offer should be thoughtful and will depend on the market you're in. In a seller’s market with multiple offers on a property, you will not have much leverage. Be reasonable. You are both working towards the same goal which is the sale and purchase of the property.

In a buyer’s market, you have much more leverage specially if the property has been sitting on the market without an offer for a few weeks. The sellers will likely be more open to negotiation, willing to accept a lower sale price, shorter escrow period, or even contribute to termite repairs or closing costs. 

Have more questions about buying a home in California? Join our Facebook Group: Professional Real Estate Advice for California Home Buyers & Sellers or reach out via email at

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