Finding the perfect home can be a trying process to say the least. You’ll encounter a number of houses before you finally come across that perfect match. What I’ve seen: there are no perfect houses. But there will be a perfect house for you.
In the Dallas/Fort Worth market, it’s quite likely that you’ll be competing with other buyers for the same home. Unless you’re offering to pay cash, have a hefty down payment, and/or are offering a price significantly above list, it’s likely your offer won’t be accepted. As heartbreaking as this may be, there are always more fish in the sea, or in this case…houses on the market.
So what can we do if we come across a situation where your offer was rejected? If you’re set on that home, then we’re going to have to do a little strategizing. Obviously there is no obligation for the seller to accept your offer if they don’t want to. They can reject your offer for literally any reason. Every seller you come across will have different motivations for selling and that’s important to remember. In this market, it’s likely that the reason a seller would reject your offer is because another buyer may be willing to pay more, close more quickly, or offer other concessions that you aren’t willing to do.
The first step: make sure you are not hung up on a property that just wasn’t meant to be. I encourage my clients to “wait to move in — especially emotionally — until after the offer has been accepted”. This makes rejection a little less painful, and it’s much easier to move on to another property.
Let’s dive right into the 3 best ways you can respond to a seller who has rejected your offer — and the lessons you can learn from the experience as you continue your search for your new home.
1. Don’t over analyze
Your first instinct might be to over analyze why the seller rejected your offer. Don’t spend your valuable time looking up the sales history and tax records and comparing everything the seller’s agent told you with everything you think you know. Before you know it ,you’ll find yourself in a deep hole more confused then you were at the start.
If your offer was rejected, it’s best to speak with your agent and discuss further options. Be open to the idea that this house will remain out of your reach simply for reasons you can’t overcome. I’m certainly not advocating that you just drop all interest in the house. However, if your first offer was your best possible offer, and it was not accepted (or the seller accepted another offer instead), then just move on.
2. Go All In or Back Up
If you made an offer and it wasn’t enticing enough to the seller, consider upping your offer to the maximum price and terms you will still feel good about. Common practice for some buyers is to make an offer with some room to increase. If that was your strategy, then the next step would be to make your next best offer and hope this time you land the deal. (Again — in the Dallas/Fort Worth market right now, buyers in most areas and price ranges do not have the luxury of negotiating off list price — if anything, the decision you’ll need to make prior to submitting your offer is how much over list are you prepared to pay, especially if the home is brand new to the market and/or there are other buyers competing to purchase this home.)
If the seller accepts another offer, you could negotiate to be in a Back-Up offer. Because of the option period in Texas, it’s quite possible that the buyer in first position will terminate the contract. If and when they do, you’ll be in first position without having to compete for it the next time. There is some money at risk, but your agent can structure your back up offer to minimize your exposure, give you the ability to continue searching for your new home, and be first in line on that house if the current buyer walks away.
Prepare yourself to move on if it doesn’t go through, and continue to work with your agent to find your next home.
3. Put the home behind you
Purchasing a home is an emotional experience, and you might find yourself emotionally attached before you’ve even closed on the house. It’s important to put that home out of your mind immediately if your offer was rejected – especially if another offer was accepted instead. Lingering on that home and questioning why you didn’t get it will distract you from finding a new one. That being said… learn from the experience. If you thought a list price offer with a 10-day option period would be enough to win the home, think again. Perhaps next time, offer a little above list, or a shorter option period, or give the seller a few days in the home after closing, or to pay for your own title policy — consult with your agent on ways you might up the advantage to a seller and be ready to pursue the next one from a position of strength.
Take this time to reflect on the process and prepare yourself for the next one. Remember some of the features that made this home so inviting to you. Just because you didn’t get this home doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice those important qualities. Certainly not all homes we’re created equal but you’ll always find similarities across the board when house hunting. And consider the changes you’re willing to make in your offer to make it more desirable to the seller.
So get out there and get to know more houses, each one has something new to offer you! So get out there paint the town red, or your new home red for that matter. Either way, try to relax and enjoy the home buying process, as stressful as it may be. Your agent will be there to guide you through the whole process and make sure you don’t settle on a house lacking your dream requirements and to help you contract on the next one.
Odds are 100 percent that you’ll come across another home that is even more perfect for you than you had ever imagined. For every seller to reject your offer, there is one waiting to close on the house of you dreams. After over 21 year of helping families in the DFW area, it ALWAYS works out exactly the way it’s supposed to. “This — or something better”… is my mantra. It’s difficult to focus on this during the process — especially when your heart is breaking over the loss of the home you thought was to be yours — but once we get on the other side, find your true perfect home, you’ll see that it worked out perfectly.
So get out there and start house hunting. The perfect home for you is waiting.
About Nicole Smith:
I have been helping families and individuals of all ages move to, from, and around the DFW Metroplex since 1995. I believe our homes create the chapters in the story of our lives, and I am here to help my clients before, during and after their real estate transaction. The communities I proudly serve include Flower Mound, Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Keller, Colleyville. If you’re considering buying a new home or selling your current home, contact me today for a complimentary consultation.