Posted by Jeff Smith on 2/5/2018

If you are on the fence about whether to accept or reject a homebuying proposal, it is important to remember that a third option is available: countering the offer.

By countering a home offer, you can set the stage for a negotiation with an interested buyer. If a buyer accepts your counter-proposal, you and the buyer can move forward with a purchase agreement. Or, if a buyer rejects your counter-offer, you can always continue to seek out proposals from other potential buyers.

Before you counter a home offer, it is important to know what to expect after you make this decision. That way, you can feel confident about your decision to counter a homebuyer's proposal, even in a high-pressure situation.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze a home offer and determine whether to counter it.

1. Assess the Housing Market

The housing market ultimately may play a key role in how a home seller approaches an offer. Because if a seller examines the real estate sector closely, he or she may gain actionable insights that can be used to differentiate a "fair" proposal from a "lowball" offer.

Look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, as well as the prices of recently sold residences in your area that are similar to your own. Then, you can use this information to take a data-driven approach to analyze an offer. And if you decide to counter an offer, you can rest assured that your decision is backed by relevant real estate insights.

2. Review Your Home's Pros and Cons

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to consider your house's age and condition as you review an offer. This will enable you to account for any potential home repairs and the costs associated with them – something a buyer also may do before he or she submits an offer on your home.

Don't forget to consider the strengths of your home as well. If you recently performed a series of home upgrades, you probably accounted for these house improvements when you set the initial asking price for your home. Thus, you should have no regrets about countering a home offer if it fails to match your expectations.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is crucial, particularly for a home seller who is uncertain about how to proceed with a home offer. A real estate agent can help you evaluate all aspects of a home offer and make it easy to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer expert home selling recommendations. He or she also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions and ensure you can make an informed decision about any offer, at any time.

Ready to review an offer on your house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble deciding whether to counter a homebuying proposal.

Posted by Jeff Smith on 7/31/2017

Making an offer on a home you’re hoping to buy is a stressful endeavor. You want your offer to stand apart from others, and if you don’t feel comfortable increasing the offer, a personalized letter is a good way to explain your situation and possibly sway the seller in your favor.

Sounds good, right? But when most of us sit down to write an effective offer letter we often come up stumped. What makes your situation different than any other hopeful buyer? How do you find the right tone in your letter? How do you sign off at the end? 

There are a number of things to consider when writing an offer letter. So, in this article, we’re going to help you craft an offer letter that will give you the best chance of getting accepted by a home seller.

 Begin with them

Before you start talking about yourself and why you love the house, start by addressing the seller by name. Thank them for letting you view their home, and compliment them on the work they’ve done to take care of it.

Why you love their home

A good place to start in your offer letter is to describe exactly what sets their home apart from the others you looked at. Are there defining characteristics of the home that make it perfectly suited to your family? Does it have a large yard that your dog will love to run in or the workshop you’ve always wanted to practice your woodworking?
Make your letter personal. This is your chance to show that you aren’t just concerned with the price of the home.

Share information wisely

Some buyers get excited about all of the changes they would make if their offer was accepted on a home. And while it’s okay to plan and be excited for the future, you might not want to share that information with the seller.

Remember that they have many memories and hours of work put into their home, and they might not appreciate you talking about how you’re going to start tearing down walls.

Be concise

Once you get into the flow of writing your letter, it’s easy to get carried away. However, sellers will be more receptive to reading and understanding your letter if it is short and to the point. Try not to go over a page, single-spaced.

Once you’ve written your letter, review it to see if there’s anything that can be simplified or removed altogether.

Peer review

Before sending your letter, have a family member, friend, or real estate agent look it over. Not only will they be able to catch small grammatical errors, but they’ll also let you know if something you’ve written is confusing or would be considered over-sharing.


You might be tempted to hit the send button as soon as you’re done with your letter. However, receiving an email can be impersonal--we all get hundreds of emails that we never even open. Rather, print your letter on nice paper, sign it by hand, and consider attaching a family photo if you have one that’s suitable.

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Posted by Jeff Smith on 4/4/2016

After lots of searching you have found the house that you'd like to call home. Next step, you'll need to make an offer. Purchase contracts vary from state to state but a basic offer includes the price you're willing to pay for the house, your financing terms, and contingencies. When it is time to put your offer on paper you will want to make sure it is well planned. There are seven key elements to a good offer: 1. A realistic offering price In order to put forth a great offer you will want to set your price based on similar homes recently sold in the neighborhood. Your real estate agent will help you look at comparable properties to determine that price. You will also want to keep in mind the state of the market in your area. If homes are selling quickly and receiving multiple offers, you'll need to bid competitively. If home sales are slower you may want to be a little more conservative in your offer. 2. Realistic financing terms Always make sure you are pre-approved for a loan before making an offer. Include proof that you are pre-approved with your offer, many lenders will give you a letter. 3. A property inspection clause A home inspection clause will give you a chance to have the property inspected. You will want to use a professional home inspector to thoroughly inspect the property you are buying. 4. Any concessions or contingencies Sometimes there are additional items that should be covered in the offer. You will want to outline any concessions like closing costs or repairs. If you are financing your home you will need to include a financing contingency. 5. Conveyances Always put in the offer what is included in the sale. For instance, a washer and dryer or any other items that are included in the sale of the property. 6. A deadline An offer should always include a deadline for a response. 7. It is all in writing Everything should always be in writing. Never rely on verbal agreements.