What Is Counter Offer In Real Estate And How Does It Work?

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Written By Tommy

DealBloom aims to share the latest tips and strategies to help realtors, brokers, loan officers, and investors navigate the world of real estate.

If you’re in the process of buying a home, you may be wondering what is counter offer in real estate. This blog post will tell you what it means and offer some tips for making successful counter offers.

What is Counter Offer in Real Estate?

What is counter offer in real estate? A counteroffer is when a home buyer or seller makes a new, different, or improved deal to the initial one. This often happens when a buyer or a seller isn’t happy with the terms in their initial agreement.

A home buyer might make an offer on a property lower than the asking price, hoping the seller will accept the offer. A homeowner might also make a similar counteroffer if the buyer makes an offer much lower than their home’s listed price.

How Real Estate Counteroffers Work

One party may make an offer when two people negotiate a real estate deal. A response to that offer is a counteroffer, which can change the terms of that transaction. The terms may include price, which can be higher or lower than the original quote.

If the other party doesn’t accept or decline the offer, they can make a counteroffer.

For instance, if a seller lists their house for $300,000, but a buyer offers $285,000, the seller can then make a counteroffer of $295,000. The buyer can then accept, decline, or make another offer.

There is no limit on how many times either party can make counteroffers during negotiation. When making home offers, each should lower the price by a little. This shows the other party that they are getting close.

A party is not obliged to accept a counteroffer until both parties have agreed upon the terms of the new deal. This occurs once the other party accepts the counteroffer.

A legally binding agreement is created once this happens. The entity that presented the earlier rejected proposal is absolved of legal responsibility.

Never allow your emotions to get in the way during the negotiating process. Instead, research, ask for more time, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Why Would You Make a Counteroffer on a Home?

There are several reasons why someone might make a counteroffer on a home. Perhaps the most common reason is that the original offer was too low, and the seller wants to try and negotiate a higher price.

Additionally, the counteroffer may include other terms that the original offer did not, such as a shorter or longer timeframe in which the buyer must close on the property.

When to Make A Counter Offer on a House

There are a few reasons why you might make counteroffers on a property.

Seller counteroffer

As a home seller, you may want to negotiate when you receive an unsatisfactory purchase offer you would still like to sign a contract. If you listed your house for $300,000, and someone brought you a $275,000 buying price, you could reject them. Or, you could make a counteroffer.

If that’s still too high, you can offer $285,000. The buyer might accept that, or they may counter offer again.

Buyer counteroffer

As the buyer, you may make a counteroffer when you want to buy a house, but its listed price is too high, or you don’t think it’s worth what’s being asked. Let’s use our earlier example of $300,000 for a house that you believe is only worth $275,000. If you offered $275,000, and the owner returned with $285,000, you could offer a price of $280,000.

A buyer may make an offer on a property, but things could change if the home inspector finds issues. For example, if the inspector found issues with the roof, the buyer might ask for $20,000 off the purchase price. The home sellers could then respond with a $290,000 counteroffer, and the buyer can respond with another $285,000.

Tips for Making the Most Effective Real Estate Counter Offer 

As a real estate agent, you know that sometimes the best offers come from a counteroffer from the seller. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of the counteroffer negotiations:

  1. Start high: It’s always best to start high when making a counteroffer, that way, you have room to negotiate down.
  2. Be reasonable: Don’t make an offer that’s so low it’s insulting or so high it’s unrealistic.
  3. Take emotions out of it: It’s important to remember that this is a business transaction, so don’t let emotions get in the way.
  4. Be prepared to walk away: If the seller isn’t budging, be prepared to walk away.

Sometimes the best real estate deals are the ones you don’t make.

The Role of a Real Estate Agent in the Counteroffer?

Real estate agents represent either home sellers or buyers, depending on the situation. Their job is to help their clients make the best decision possible, whether accepting, countering, or rejecting an offer.

If the seller receives more than one offer, the listing agent may tell them to extend the deadline by a few days or weeks to gauge how interested other buyers are. An agent can also help keep any negative feelings from developing between the parties. No one wants to go to the closing table with bad blood.

What Happens When a Home Counteroffer has been Accepted?

When a buyer and a seller agree on a home’s price, they sign an official document called a “contract” that spells out the terms of the sale. If the home is listed for $300,000, but after the buyer and seller negotiate, they agree on a price of $285,000, the price in the “contract.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What does counter an offer mean?

A counteroffer is when the seller rejects the buyer’s initial offer and makes a new, usually higher, offer.

What happens if the buyer does not accept a counteroffer?

If the buyer does not accept the counter offer, the seller is free to continue marketing the property and entertaining other offers.

How do you respond to a seller’s counteroffer?

If you are the buyer, you can either accept the counter offer, reject the counter offer, or make a new counter offer. If you are the seller, you can either accept the counter offer, reject the counter offer, or make a new counter offer.

How do you make a counteroffer on the house?

A counteroffer is made when the seller of a property receives an offer from a potential buyer, but the seller is not happy with the terms of the offer. The seller then makes a new offer to the buyer with different terms.


What is counter offer in real estate? A counteroffer is when the seller changes their original asking price after the buyer makes an offer. While it can be frustrating to negotiate back and forth on price, it’s important to remember that a counteroffer is simply part of the negotiation process.

If you’re unsure how to make a counteroffer, consult your real estate agent. They will be able to guide you through the negotiation process and help you get the best possible price for your dream home.