The Mitchell Team | Berverly Real Estate, Salem Real Estate, Gloucester Real Estate


Shopping for a home is a long, arduous process. When you finally find one that you love, think you can afford, and spend the time to formulate an offer, it can be crushing when your offer is rejected.

However, getting rejected is simply part of the process. If you’ve ever applied to college, you might be familiar with this process. You send out applications that you poured your heart and soul into. Sometimes to get accepted, other times you don’t.

Making an offer on a home comes with one big advantage over those college applications, however--the opportunity to negotiate. As long as the house is still on the market after your offer is rejected, you’re still in the game.

In this article, we’re going to talk you through what to do when your offer is rejected so you can reformulate your plan and make the best decision as to moving forward.

1. Don’t sweat it

One of the most common fallacies we fall into as humans is to think the outcome is worse than it really is. First, remember that there are most likely other houses out there that are as good if not better than the one you are bidding on, even if they’re not for sale at this moment.

Next, consider the rejection as simply part of the negotiation process. Most people are turned off by rejection. However, you can learn a lot when a seller says no. In many cases, you can take what you learned and return to the drawing board to come up with a better offer.

Don’t spend too much time scrutinizing the seller’s decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time their decision isn’t personal. You simply haven’t met the pricing or contractual requirements that they and their agent have decided on.

2. Reconsider your offer

Now it’s time to start thinking about a second offer. If the seller didn’t respond with a counteroffer it can mean one of two things. First, they might be considering other buyers who have gotten closer to their requirements. Alternatively, your offer may have been too low or have had too many contingencies for them to consider.

Regardless, a flat-out rejection usually means changes need to be made before following up.

3. Making a new offer

This is your chance to take what you learned and apply it to your new offer. Make sure you meet the following prerequisites before sending out your next offer:

  • Double check your financing. Understand your spending limits, both on paper and in terms of what you’re comfortable spending.

  • Check comparable houses. If houses in the neighborhood are selling for more than they were when the house was previously listed, the seller might be compensating for that change.

  • Make sure you’re pre-approved. Your offer will be taken more seriously if you have the bank’s approval.

  • Remove unnecessary contingencies. It’s a seller’s market. Having a complicated contract will make sellers less likely to consider your offer.

4. Move on with confidence

Sometimes you just can’t make it up to the seller’s price point. Other times the seller just can’t come to terms with a reasonable price for their home. Regardless, don’t waste too much time negotiating and renegotiating. Take what you learned from this experience and use it toward the next house negotiation--it will be here sooner than you think!