Purchase offers usually come in low, and most buyers and sellers expect to do some negotiating to come to an agreement. However, be careful about trying to squeeze to much out of an offer or you may find youself sitting offerless.
1. If the the offer is fair, be careful of minor counter offers. A few thousand dollars is going to make very little difference in the long run. If the terms are in line with the market and what you would be willing to accept be careful of trying to squeeze a little more from the transaction... you could end up with nothing.
2. The offer was well prepared. A well-prepared offer usually shows this is a serious buyer with a good agent... which usually means they have studied the market and made a thoughtful offer. It also usually indicates they will be responsive to work with as things come up during the process to closing... so you will actually make it to closing!
3. Don't stop the momentum. Even if there is no deadline for response, be careful of taking too much time to respond. You may stop the momentum, causing parties to lose interest feeling they have hit a road block.
4. Not everyone likes to negotiate. Some people don't like to play what they see as the negotiating game. Some present their best offer after thinking it through seriously and are prepared to move on if it is rejected. Before countering an offer, ask if you are ok with moving on if your counter offer is rejected. If it is an offer acceptable to you, be cautious about countering it.
Every situation is unique, but buyers are more cautious than ever about making an offer in the first place... and more quick to walk away if their offer is rejected. I have experienced both... from both buyer and seller perspectives.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Twin Cities Realtor