First-time Buyers – My offer was rejected. What do I do now?

That’s too bad. You need to discuss with your Realtor® why your offer was rejected. Did you toss in a low ball offer? Were you really expecting the sellers to accept that low-ball offer? Didn’t your Realtor tell you that such an offer was likely to make the sellers angry and that they might just reject your offer, rather than even making a counter offer? Maybe your offer was one of several and it was just not as good as the other offers.

Sometimes your decision to make a low-ball offer, just to see what the sellers might do really backfires. If you’ve really made the sellers mad they may not even be willing to listen to another offer from you. They have that right. If that is not the case; and, you still think that you want the place, you’ll have to start over and make a new offer. Here’s an article on the top 5 Low-ball Offer Mistakes.

Ask your Realtor to try to determine with the listing agent what a decent offer might be – one that will either be accepted or at least draw a counter-offer from the sellers. The listing agent doesn’t have to provide any advice to you and remember that he/she is working for the sellers and may still be proposing an offer price that is out of sync with the market.


Here are some other ideas to make a second offer than might be more successful this time:

  • Make sure that your Realtor provides the Listing agent with the comps that he/she is basing his/her offer price advice upon. Sometimes that can help the Listing agent convince the sellers that they may be priced too high.
  • You may wish to write the sellers a letter and have your Realtor forward that with your new offer. In that letter you can introduce yourself and your family and tell them why you like their home and want to live there. Many times, sellers favor the offers of people whom they believe will take care of the house and feel at home there. It’s an emotional thing, but there is lots of emotion in home buying and selling situation.
  • Make sure that your pre-approval letter is strong and that you make a strong EMD deposit with this offer, especially if you offered a weak (low) EMD on the first offer. Pre-approvals showing a 20% down payment (if you can do it) shows that you probably have the wherewithal to get to the closing table. An EMD of 3% of the offer price is also a strong indicator of your seriousness.
  • Don’t ask for seller concessions. Asking the sellers to pay for your closing costs really ticks off a lot of sellers, especially those who believe that they are already selling the house for less than they thought to was worth. Your offer would be considered much stronger if you reduced your down payment amount and paid your own closing costs. Work with your loan officer on those numbers.

If the seller refuses to even look at your offer or has accepted another offer, just let go of that property and move on. In any event you need to learn from this effort and do better next time. Remember that line from The Godfather movie – “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

Norm Werner is a Realtor® working for Real Estate One in Milford, Michigan. Norms helps people buy and sell houses in Southeastern Michigan, in Oakland, Livingston and Macomb Counties You can contact Norm about finding a new home or about getting a Market Analysis for your current home by texting or calling him at 248-763-2497 or click here to go to his web site and fill out Help Form for buyers and sellers.

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Photo by Berwin Coroza on Unsplash