You find the perfect house, start creating all of your Home Décor Pinterest boards and BAM – you find out that the sellers didn’t accept your offer. Your dreams of making dinner in the beautiful farmhouse kitchen are crushed and you’re wondering what you did wrong. Well here are a few reasons your offer could’ve been rejected that can help you next time you find a house you want to write an offer on.
PS – I promise your real estate dreams aren’t crushed. There will be another one!
Reason #1: You’re Missing a Pre-approval Letter – Not only is it important to have a pre-approval letter so that you know how much house you can afford, but the sellers are very unlikely to entertain offers without them. If you haven’t taken the time to get pre-approved and show that you are serious about buying a home, why would the seller risk taking their house off the market before knowing if you can even afford the mortgage?
How to Correct This: Talk with local lenders about your options and get a pre-approval letter from them that you have in hand, ready for your Real Estate Agent to scan over with the offer.
Reason #2: You’re Unrealistic – This could relate to a few things, one of them being that you have too many contingencies. Do you have a home sale contingency before even having your house up for sale with an accepted offer? Did you include a long list of items that your offer is contingent on in addition to the absolutely necessary ones? Did you ask for the wine fridge and pool table when the sellers said they are not included? Many items can be negotiated but if you really want the house, you need to be realistic and not over the top.
Another way you can appear unrealistic is to low-ball the sellers with your offer price. When this happens, the sellers may get offended or think you’re not serious. Have market data that backs up your offer price rather than throwing out a number that you think you want to pay if you want to be taken seriously.
One more reason you might be being unrealistic is that you gave the sellers an extremely short turnaround time to respond to your offer. This is a MAJOR turn-off. Even if you are in a competitive offer situation, you should focus on strengthening your offer and submitting what you feel is the best you can do rather than pushing the sellers to respond in an unreasonable amount of time.
How to Avoid This: Stick to what is the most important to you when it comes to writing offer contingencies. Make sure you’re going over market data with your Real Estate Agent so that you’re backing up the offer price you’re putting out there. Lastly, give the sellers a reasonable turnaround time. Pushing them into a corner will not result in getting what you want and it will only get you off to a bad start with them.
Reason #3: The Seller is Difficult or Unrealistic – This one isn’t necessarily something you can do much about but it could be the reason your offer didn’t get accepted. Unfortunately, there are some sellers who are going to be very difficult to work with or unrealistic no matter how strong your offer is.
How to Avoid This: While this one isn’t entirely avoidable, it’s important that before starting your home search that you understand that some sellers are just going to be difficult. Having the expectation that not every seller will agree to what you offer will help eliminate a lot of frustration for you as a buyer when your offer is rejected.
Reason #4: Your Buyer’s Agent Isn’t Easy to Work With – You might be wondering what the buyer’s agent has to do with how much you’re offering the seller. Well, the buyer’s agent actually plays a very crucial role in this process because whoever you choose is going to be the one communicating with and negotiating with the listing agent and therefore the sellers, throughout the entire transaction. If the listing agent has had bad experiences with them in the past, they may share this with the sellers, making your offer less appealing.
How to Avoid This: Make sure you’re interviewing your Buyer’s Agent before committing to working with them. Find out what their negotiating style is and get a feel for their personality. Do they seem easy to work with or like they’d make others mad?
Curious about what a buyer’s agent does? Check out my blog post about this topic HERE.
Reason #5: You Didn’t Find Out the Seller’s Timeframe or Situation – If you and your agent write an offer without ever asking the listing agent what is important to the seller such as their timeframe for closing or any other factors that might be deal-breakers, you might put yourself out of the running when the seller has to decide whether or not they want to accept your offer.
How to Avoid This: Make sure your agent takes the time to get in touch with the listing agent and find out any details that may help you write a more desirable offer. This is something I always do before writing an offer. Also, even if my clients are considering an offer I will call the listing agent and see if there is anything specific the sellers are looking for in an offer.
If your first offer got rejected, there is likely a reason. The best way to make sure your next offer is accepted is to go in fully prepared. Following these guidelines will not only prepare you for what to expect but can help set you up for success! Soon you’ll be entertaining in that beautiful open concept space you’ve been dreaming of.