What To Do If The Seller Receives A Better Offer Than Yours

Many home buyers think it is smooth sailing after sellers accept their offers. However, any number of things can happen that may throw a wrench into the works. For example, a seller may receive a better offer on the home after accepting yours and indicate that they may take it. Here's what you can do to salvage the situation.

Submit a Counteroffer

The seller is required to tell you that they're backing out of the deal, especially if they signed the contract and are using contingencies or other loopholes to back out of the deal. While you can retain a lawyer to force the seller to adhere to the agreement, another option that may save you money in the long-term is to submit a counteroffer.

This is only a good idea, though, if you really want the home, can secure the additional funding, and the home's value is worth the increased sale price. If you're trying to buy a home in a hot market, for instance, then submitting a higher offer may be the only way you're going to get a house in the area. Otherwise, it may be better to get your earnest money back and walk away.

Additionally, be prepared for the other buyer to submit their own counteroffer by having a maximum amount you're willing to spend, and cutting off negotiations if the other person offers more than you want to pay.

Sweeten Your Deal

If you don't have the cash to offer the seller more money, look for other ways to sweeten the deal. For instance, you can offer to let the owners stay in the home a short while after the sale so they have more time to move out. This may be attractive to seniors or people with large families who may not like the idea of having to rush to leave once the papers are signed.

Other things you can offer to make your proposal more attractive include offering faster inspections, reducing the number of contingencies in the contract, and paying in cash. Do what you can to find out as much about the seller as possible, and tailor your offer to his or her needs. If you know the person is selling to relocate to a new area, for example, you can make concessions that let them close on the house sooner.

For help dealing with a seller that wants to back out of the sale or for assistance finding other homes for sale that fit your needs, contact a real estate agent.