So, you’ve offered on a piece of real estate. What happens next, however, is somewhat out of your control.

You wait for a response. A seller could respond to your offer in three different ways:

  1. Accept it
  2. Reject (or ignore!) it
  3. Make a counteroffer

If they accept it, great! If they reject it, that’s OK; there is always another deal, or you could re-offer again when the seller wises up. However, when a seller submits a counteroffer, that’s when the real fun begins.

A counteroffer (often just called a “counter”) is a response to another, earlier offer. In other words, if you offered $100,000 on a property, and the seller says, “No, I want $110,000,” that response from the seller is the counteroffer.

In most of the deals I’ve offered on, the original offer has not been accepted; the same will likely be true for you. And that’s not a bad thing! I argue that if your initial offer is accepted, you probably offered too much!

Of course, if you are in a highly competitive market, this might not be the case, but generally, I consider a counteroffer a good thing. It means the seller wants to sell to me and is willing to find common ground where both parties can get what they want. The negotiation process is where the two sides try to make that happen. Remember, both parties want the exact same thing: a sale.

11 Items You Can Negotiate in a Real Estate Deal

Many people see the word “negotiation” and envision one party winning and the other losing. However, in a good negotiation, both parties walk away feeling like they achieved pretty much, if not exactly, what they wanted. When there is no negotiation, that’s when one of the parties tends to feel they got shafted! So remember: a little back-and-forth is a good thing.

Related: Beware “Yes,” Master “No”: The Surprising Key to Skillful Negotiation

Keep in mind, I’m not referring to negotiating just on the price. In fact, there are multiple parts of the contract that can be negotiated. For example, you could negotiate for any or all of the following:

  1. Price: How much are you actually going to pay for the property?
  2. Closing date: When will you close? Next week? Next month?
  3. Closing location: Where is the closing going to take place? Your title company? Theirs? An attorney’s office?
  4. Contingencies: What contingencies could be removed from…