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How To Bounce Back After Your Offer Was Rejected

Melody Johnson4-Minute Read
September 25, 2020

You found the home of your dreams tucked away in the perfect neighborhood. It has all the amenities you could ever want, but there's a problem. You strike up an offer with the seller, and now you're dealing with the tough breakup news of having it rejected. So now you might be wondering how to handle the heartache of having a house offer rejected and what step to take next. But don't fret, we've got you covered with these super simple tips.

What Does It Mean When A Seller Rejects Your Offer?

If a seller rejects your original home purchase offer, you should determine if you put your best bid forward. There could be some major underlying reasons why this happened. Still, chances are slim that a seller will change their mind unless a new offer is presented. There are really two choices left when dealing with the aftermath of having a home offer rejected: you can make another offer or you can decide to walk away. So, do you battle it out with other potential buyers, or do you move on? Before you make that call, you might be banging your head on the wall trying to figure out why a seller would decline your grand proposal in the first place. While it’s impossible to know all of the reasons why a seller decides to accept or reject an offer, it's a good time to reevaluate your home purchase strategy.

Common Reasons House Offers Are Rejected

Here are several common reasons why a seller might pass on your home purchase bid.

  • Your offer came in lower than that of competing buyers. 
  • Sellers have grandiose ideas about what their home is worth. 
  • Sellers might prefer buyers who meet specific financing requirements.
  • Preferred closing time frames may not be aligned between buyer and seller.
  • Your requests for repairs might be considered unreasonable by the seller.
  • The seller has some other elusive motivation that you can't pinpoint.

Avoid the compulsion of trying to research every single reason behind the decision to have your offer rejected. It might be enticing to google everything you know about the seller. Still, it'll only lead to more unanswered questions and one major headache. No matter what the reason, look over your original offer and determine if you need to restructure your terms or make a home search rebound. 

What Happens If A Home Seller Doesn't Respond To An Offer?

Typically, the original offer will include a deadline that provides the seller with a date that you need a response. If there's no response to your home offer by that time, the offer expires. This means you can walk away without any contractual obligations. But getting no response could signify that your offer was too low to be considered seriously by the seller. On the other hand, if the seller is simply slow to respond, speak with your real estate agent to follow up with the seller's agent. Ask them to find out if there is a counteroffer or if the seller can provide any reasoning behind having your house offer rejected. What next action you take all depends on how willing you are to wait or how quickly you need to move on. You can try your hand at the long game, hoping that the seller will justify your home offer and reduce their asking price. But you might have more luck winning the lottery or finding a new home that's even better than the first. 

Does A Seller Have To Sign A Rejected Offer?

It can be tough to buy a home, let alone have a seller dismiss your bid. Unfortunately, there are no requirements for sellers to sign a rejected offer. According to the National Association of Realtors, offers may be refused verbally. However, it's recommended to have sellers sign or initial any home offer rejected. What’s next is that sellers have several options when receiving a bid: make a counteroffer with revisions, reject your offer, or accept your offer as-is. A seller can counter and ask for changes to the earnest money deposit, purchase price, or any repair requests. Likewise, a buyer can also counter a counteroffer by negotiating the seller's demands. Sound confusing? Keeping track of multiple offers and counteroffers can be tedious yet important. Lastly, your agent will help you stay in touch with the most recent changes and tell you when your offer becomes a fully executed contract.

Ask An Expert

If you're still feeling crushed at the thought of losing out, you can always ask an expert for a professional opinion on how to modify your original offer. An experienced real estate agent can provide you with recommendations. They can give you a detailed history of selling prices of homes in your area that are similar to the type of home you’re trying to purchase. 

While there's no way to completely avoid having an offer dismissed, speaking with real estate experts will give you a leg up on the competition. Although it's not an exact science, an agent can suggest adjustments, such as increasing your bid or changing some other aspect of your offer. In some cases, they might even recommend walking away from the deal altogether. If you have any questions about financing and qualifications, a banker can also be an invaluable asset. 

When To Walk Away If Your Offer Is Rejected

Let’s say that you gave it another shot, and the familiar pangs of disappointment are sending you into a lurch. After several rounds of negotiations between you and the seller, you find your offer rejected once again. Knowing when it's time to say goodbye may work in your favor in the long run. It might be time to walk away if you find a better home on the market, find significant repair issues, or are capped when it comes to your financing. Waiting too long to let your agent know about your cold feet might make things harder down the line, especially when it comes to paperwork. Speak to your agent about your concerns before you're under contract. Believe it or not, letting go and finding a new home might be just what you need to regain your home buying confidence. 

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    Melody Johnson

    The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.