Seller Says I Won’t Sign a Counter Offer

How often have I heard an agent lament that her seller says I won’t sign a counter offer? How many times? I will tell you. So many times, I can pretty much predict it.  This happens to me personally as a listing agent quite a bit as well. The seller says I won’t sign a counter offer because he or she is emotionally upset with the offer or terms of the purchase offer. So angry, as a matter of fact, that the seller does not want to give the buyer the pleasure of a professional reply.

I get it. Absolutely. They refuse. It’s the sellers’ right to refuse, to put her foot down firmly and say no, I won’t sign a counter offer. What that means is I have to call and explain how doing nothing guarantees a nothing outcome. People can’t respond to no response. It’s not in their makeup to put their tail between their legs and say, Oh, I’m sorry if I offended you, please look at my newly revised offer. Ha, ha, ha. Like that is gonna happen.

Ignoring a buyer’s offer is the worst thing a seller can do. Buyers want to negotiate, and they don’t know how to do it or they would not have been as insulting as their original offer. Because they don’t think how a seller will respond. Not only that, they don’t give a crap, either. They think the opposite, that if a seller ignores their offer, then the seller does not wish to negotiate much less sell the home.

Oy, oy, a Catch 22. Both stubborn parties. 

My solution to when a seller says I will not sign a counter offer is to talk it out and explain why they should. I use real life examples. One from just a couple weeks ago when the seller refused to sign a counter offer and I pushed her to do it. We countered at full list price and the buyers said OK.

Trust me, the buyers would not have resubmitted an offer at full list price if we had just ignored them. 

There is no “giving in” when a seller sends a counter offer to the buyer. A counter offer says your original offer is unacceptable, but here is what is acceptable to me. How is that demeaning? It’s not. It’s a position of power and strength.

So think about that the next time a seller says I will not sign a counter offer. If you’re a real estate agent, do your job by explaining exactly why a seller should sign a counter offer. Don’t just agree with the seller because you’re afraid to argue.

I tell my sellers to fight back. A lowball offer can feel like a slap in the face. Don’t turn the other cheek. Send a counter offer.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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