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How to Negotiate a Counter Offer in Real Estate

Whether you are buying a property or selling one, the ultimate goal is the same: get the best price. However, the “best price” for a seller is rarely considered the best price for a buyer, so how do you arrive at a successful sale? The answer lies in successful negotiation.

Negotiating over a property is all about reaching a price and conditions that both parties agree to and consider fair. For some sales, this can be quite a quick process. For others, it can take a lot of back and forth and long discussions. So, how do you negotiate a counter offer in real estate? Here, we’ll talk about some things you might want to consider.

First, what is a counter offer?

Typically, a property for sale will have an asking price noted down on the listing. This gives buyers an indicator of what a reasonable price may be from the seller’s point of view. A buyer will then make their initial offer based off this information and the seller can then choose to accept, decline or make a counter offer – that is, suggest a new amount or set of conditions they think is fair. The buyer can then do the same: accept, decline or counter offer.

There’s no limit to how many counter offers can be put forward and a bit of back and forth is beneficial to ensure you achieve a fair price, but both parties will likely want to streamline the process as much as possible.

What might you consider before making a counter offer?

Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, being informed will make all the difference when it comes to arriving at a fair price. Not only will you need to know what conditions are permitted during negotiations, you’ll also need thorough insight into the current market and the property itself.

Here are some things you might research when negotiating:

  • the level of interest in the property
  • how long it has been on the market
  • the original asking price
  • comparable properties
  • the current condition of the property
  • if upgrades/renovations are needed

Remember, it’s not just about the price

While coming up with a new figure is a large part of the process, negotiating can extend beyond the sale price. Both buyers and sellers can include a range of conditions on their offer in order to make it more enticing to pursue. These offers can be quite unique and may add benefits beyond money, such as peace of mind or a faster settlement. Just some additional details you might include could be:

  • Modifications to the settlement date – for example, this may be brought forward instead of an increase in price.
  • Subject to finance clause
  • Subject to valuation clause
  • Subject to acceptable building and pest inspection clause

When including conditions in your offer, it’s important to get expert advice to ensure it is worded correctly.

No matter what price or set of conditions you land on, explaining why you’ve landed on this offer could help the other party make their decision.


Important: This article contains general information that doesn’t take your personal situation into account. Get expert advice from experienced professionals when buying or selling.

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