When you have your real estate agent contact the listing agent with an offer for a home you want, there are various possible outcomes, including a counteroffer from the seller.
In this situation, you have several options for how you respond. Of course, this means numerous factors go into your choice. How much you love the home, market conditions, the number of other offers on the table, the seller's timeline and a host of other variables play into whether you accept a counteroffer.
The main options you'll have are to accept the offer, submit a counteroffer of your own or walk away from the sale. Here's some information about each choice:
Accept the offer
If you're fine with the seller's counteroffer and love the property, there's little reason you could want to negotiate further. Additionally, you may want to take the offer if the seller submits a final counter offer. At this stage, there will be no more negotiations if you don't take the number that's on the table.
Submit a counteroffer
Some sellers are willing to haggle. Maybe they aren't willing to accept your first offer, and you're not too happy about the counteroffer that requests you drop your home inspection contingency. You may be able to win the home by shooting for a higher price while keeping the inspection to entice the seller.
Depending on the market, these negotiations can go on for several rounds. Many real estate agents suggest your initial offer puts the price you're willing to spend midway between the list price and that first figure. That way, the seller's counter offer can work down from the list price, and any of your counteroffers can work up toward what you want to spend.
Walk away from the sale
There are some stubborn sellers. For any number of reasons, they aren't willing to budge on their price unless the sale price is above list price - a situation that can be more common in a seller's market. Furthermore, if there are other buyers bidding on the home, the seller will be countering based on what other interested parties are offering.
If the negotiations get into a price range you're not comfortable with, there's nothing wrong with walking away. Winning a home is a great feeling, but doing so shouldn't mean breaking your budget.
Regardless of which situation you find yourself in, consider the time. If you wait too long to respond, other buyers may put better offers on the table.