7 Reasons Why Home Offers REJECTED

Jon Stroud
Jon Stroud
Published on September 20, 2021

7 Reasons Why Home Offers REJECTED

Currently we are in a seller’s real estate market.  Meaning that there are many buyers in the market with little house inventory making an ideal situation for the seller. 

Have you tried to put in an offer for a house, only to be rejected?  Maybe you’ve found your ideal property and don’t wish to lose it to someone else.   If you’re in the process of buying a home or you’ve just begun thinking about buying a home, make sure you avoid the following 7 reasons why home buyers’ purchase offers are rejected.

1. No Pre-approval or Pre-qualification Letter

Start with the most important steps in the home buying process by getting pre-approved for a mortgage.  There are many reasons why a mortgage pre-approval is important. Without a mortgage pre-approval or at least a pre-qualification letter, a seller has absolutely no idea if the buyer can acquire a mortgage for their home.   For this reason, sellers will often reject offers without one unless the buyer is paying in cash.  

There is an important difference between a mortgage pre-approval and being pre-qualified for a mortgage.  A mortgage pre-approval is significantly more attractive to a seller, due to the fact that more in-depth research has been completed by the lender.

2. Offer Was Too Low

Low ball offers in real estate are a very common reason why home offers are rejected.  Particularly in a seller’s market when there is lots of competition from other buyers.

A low-ball offer can be very insulting to a home owner, to the point that the seller might not respond to a buyers’ offer.

Consult with a reputable realtor you have enlisted as your buyer agent for advice.  They know the market.

3. Cash is King

One top reason that home offers are rejected is another interested buyer came in offering to pay in cash instead of financing.  If another potential buyer offers to purchase in cash with no financing, the seller might choose to go with them.  The reason is that there is no fall-through finance risk and there can be a faster closing time. 

Read “How to Compete Against Cash Homebuyers” for tips.

4. Timing is Everything

Hourglass -timing
Image by Nile – Pixabay

Timing is everything.  In the situation of a seller’s market were there can be multiple offers, being the first or one of the first offers in can make a difference.  Many interested buyers lose out on their ideal home because either they couldn’t see property right away or needed to mull it over before putting in an offer. 

In order to be one of the first offers in, find and work with a reputable, hard-working realtor who will have alerts to let you know when a house that fits your criteria first comes on the market so you can view and move quickly.  Some realtors are overloaded or not as dedicated and you miss the opportunity to find out or see the property in a timely manner in a HOT market.  You don’t want other potential buyers beating you to the punch.   Try to view homes quickly, even if it’s video walk-through, and put in an offer fast to avoid the disappointment of having the seller pick someone else.

Another reason why home offers are rejected is settlement timing considerations. For example, your preferred closing date might not align with sellers.

5. Lots Of Contingencies

Almost every purchase offer will have a handful of contingencies.  Some contingencies are more common than others.  Some examples of common contingencies include a home inspection contingency, sale and transfer of title contingency, and the appraisal contingency.

Why do sellers dislike contingencies?  With each contingency also comes the level of uncertainty for a seller.  Sellers are rightfully concerned that contingencies give a potential buyer a way out of going through the transaction or changing the terms of the transaction if any issues arises, say on the inspection report.

There are many reasons why having a home inspection is a good idea when buying a home, however, a few buyers will waive their inspection contingency so their offer will be accepted.  While it’s not suggested to waive certain contingencies, such as the home inspection contingency, it does happen.

6. Small Earnest Money Deposit

When buying a home, the buyer is asked to give a deposit, earnest money, within a few days of an accepted purchase offer.  The earnest money or good faith deposit is used to show a seller that the buyer has full intent to purchase their home.  The earnest money deposit is traditionally held in escrow account until closing.

A fairly common reason why home offers are rejected is the buyer was only offering a small or “weak” earnest money deposit.  A strong earnest money deposit is at least 2-3% of the homes purchase price.  

A small earnest money deposit can mean a couple things to a seller.  First, it can raise concern about how serious is the buyer about purchasing their home.  Another concern a seller may have is that the buyer does not have very much money saved up and will the purchase go through. 

7. The Seller Is Difficult & Unrealistic or has Personal Reasons

Unfortunately, there are some home owners who are nearly impossible to negotiate with and this is another reason why purchase offers are rejected.  

The problem might have nothing at all to do with your offer—it may be another personal reason. Maybe the seller doesn’t feel you’re the right fit for their home, which likely holds a lot of sentimental value for them.

Ask An Expert

While there’s no way to completely avoid having an offer dismissed, working with reputable real estate expert will give you a leg up on the competition. An good agent can suggest adjustments, such as increasing your bid or changing some other aspect of your offer. If you have any questions about financing and qualifications, a lender/banker can also be an invaluable asset. 

Final Thoughts

Finding “the perfect home” is only a small part of the home buying process.  Successfully having a purchase offer accepted is a step in the process that is often overlooked.  It can sometimes take a buyer several attempts and several rejected offers before they successfully have one accepted.  Many of the top reasons why purchase offers are rejected can be avoided by a buyer.  Understanding what the top reasons are and how to avoid them is crucial to landing that ideal property.

Other Top Home Buying Resources

Are you buying a home in Charleston, SC area?   Contact me and I’d be happy to help guide you through the home buying process and use my expertise and experience to help find your ideal home and get your offer accepted instead of rejected!

Servicing the following Charleston, SC areas: Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, Isle of Palm, Sullivan Island, James Island, Johns Island, West Ashley, Kiawah Island, North Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek.

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