Should Sellers Always Issue a Counter Offer?

counter offerSacramento real estate agents often get upset or irritated when a seller refuses to issue a counter offer, but there is no law nor rule that says a seller must. This is the thing that they don’t understand because they put themselves in the seller’s shoes, and they would act differently. Everybody has his or her own way of responding to situations, and not everybody reacts in the same manner.

I mean, look at those guys out at Buckingham Palace. They stand there with their cute little chin straps, big furry hats, and they don’t even blink much less smile. You can’t make them smile. You could take off all of your clothes and do cartwheels in front of them, and their eyeballs would not move. Not that I’ve ever tried it, mind you, just making a point. Everybody is different. It’s what makes the world go round.

When I see purchase offers from buyers when I’ve explained to the agent that he or she needs to be extremely aggressive and very strong, and they submit an offer that results in less than list price, I feel for those agents. Because I know they’ve explained it to their buyers, and their buyers have their own thoughts. I imagine their own thoughts are something like: well, I’m gonna buy a home under my own terms, and if I can’t, it’s just not meant to be. Or something else equally ridiculous. Thoughts like that simply mean they are not buying a home. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not until they conform to the market.

But in any case, it does not mean the seller is required to send buyers a counter offer. Sellers are not allowed to discriminate and they can’t turn down a full-price offer without noting such in MLS, but they are never required to counter.

As the seller’s listing agent, I can’t make them issue a counter offer. And I wouldn’t want to try to force them to do anything anyway. Not every purchase offer deserves to be countered. Years ago I might have suggested that it’s always a good idea to counter, but today, meh. In this market, not so much.

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