Is there a limit on the number of real estate counteroffers home buyers and sellers can make? You might be wondering this if you’re in the throes of negotiating a real estate deal. You offer X, the seller counteroffers with Y, you volley back and hope it’s over; yet on and on it goes, like a never-ending tennis match. Exactly how long can this last? Is there a limit to real estate counteroffers?
Alas, there is not.
“Unfortunately, there’s no legal limit to how many counteroffers buyers and sellers can make,” says Michele Lerner, author of “Homebuying: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time.” “Counteroffers can be made as part of the negotiating process until there’s a signed agreement between the buyer and seller, or the seller decides to take their home off the market.”
Real estate counteroffers, explained: Why won’t they stop?
In some cases, a stream of counteroffers might be a stalling tactic on the part of sellers who are really hoping a better offer rolls in. That makes sense for them, but it’s plenty frustrating if you’re trying to buy the property.
“One way to get past your frustration and perhaps move negotiations forward is to mentally put yourself in the seller’s position,” Lerner says. “If you owned this home, you might want to hold out for the highest possible offer, too.”
If you really want this home—and suspect sellers are holding out for more money—then one thing you can do to safeguard your deal is to include an escalation clause, which basically says, “I will pay a certain price for this home, but if the seller receives another offer that’s higher than mine, I’m willing to increase my offer.”