Why Was My Offer On A Brooklyn Home Rejected?

Rejected stamp on a contract

You finally found it and you are ready to submit an offer on a Brooklyn home. You have a vision of the perfect home in mind. Knowing what you want and don’t want are the keys to finding your ideal home. Over my years of selling homes in Brooklyn, I can tell by the buyer’s reaction before they say anything when we have found the right home for them.

The signs I see from buyer’s include:

  • They are anxious to get inside.
  • Their excitement level increases as we walk through the home.
  • They start placing their furniture.
  • The buyer will downplay any imperfections that I point out.
  • They want to stop looking at other homes.

Now that you have found the right home, you need to make an offer on the property. What should you consider when making an offer?

  • Price is the most obvious factor to consider when making an offer on a home.
  • The neighborhood sales trends.
  • The type of financing you choose. 
  • The amount of earnest money you put down.
  • The inspections and timeframes you choose.
  • The type of concessions you ask the seller to cover.
  • The closing date.

Submitting an offer on a Brooklyn home is an exciting time! You take the time to consider what you want to pay for the property and most likely have consulted with your real estate professional, friends, and family. 

You present an offer to the seller that you feel is a great starting point. And then you find out the seller of your ideal home has rejected your offer. What went wrong?

There are several reasons a seller may reject your offer on their Brooklyn home. These reasons will vary from seller to seller and offer to offer. 

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons a seller may reject your offer.

The seller received a higher offer.

You may or may not know that the seller has other offers. I feel that an excellent real estate agent working with their seller’s best interest at heart will notify all interested parties that there are other offers expected on this Brooklyn home. That doesn’t always happen. Telling all buyers will allow the seller to receive the highest and best price for their home. In the hot real estate market we have been experiencing, it isn’t unusual for a seller to receive offers over the asking price.

Your offer may be too high.

When you prepare your offer on a Brooklyn home, you walk a fine line when offering a price over the asking amount. If you have an appraisal, the property must appraise for the sales price for many types of financing. An appraiser will look at the most recent sales in the neighborhood that have sold. If the seller and their agent feel that there are not sales that substantiate the higher price, the seller may reject your offer to avoid a problem down the road with your financing related to the appraisal.

The type of financing you chose.

Some sellers do not want to deal with the additional requirements of certain types of financing. For example, they may feel that FHA’s guidelines for health and safety items are more than they want to address. FHA does have guidelines for the appraiser to follow, but some agents make this a bigger deal than it really is. My advice is to obtain the mortgage that works best for you and make an offer to purchase based on your needs.

You asked for too many concessions.

The seller will always look at their bottom line. If they are asked to pay for unusual expenses, buyer closing costs, or leave items such as not included appliances, they may reject the offer to purchase if it doesn’t meet their expectations. Your agent will help you put together an offer that is beneficial to you and the seller. 

Your offer was too low.

Assuming the seller’s asking price was reasonable, your low bid can be rejected by the seller. If the home has not been on the market for the average number of days it takes to sell a home in their Brooklyn area, they may feel that other qualified buyers will be willing to pay the market value. Other sellers may be insulted and reject your offer based on their emotions. Although it is best to keep your emotions in check as a home seller or home buyer, it is difficult for some people.

You did not offer enough earnest money.

An earnest money deposit is the amount of money you put down at the signing of the offer on a Brooklyn home to show the seller you are serious about buying the home. The seller takes a risk when they accept an offer because once the property becomes contingent or under contract in the MLS, the number of buyers who will look at the home may decrease, reducing the chance the seller will receive potential back-up offers. They want to see that the buyer is serious or “earnest” about purchasing their home.

You don’t have a pre-approval letter.

Most buyer’s agents will not show homes to a buyer until they have gone through the pre-approval process with a lender. There are several reasons, but as far as the seller is concerned, they will not want to take their home off the market until they know the buyer will qualify for a mortgage. A pre-approval letter should be incorporated into your offer to purchase. As a buyer, you will want that pre-approval letter to know that you are looking in a price range that will provide you with a comfortable mortgage payment for your Brooklyn home.

The seller has unreasonable expectations.

The seller sets the price with the guidance of their real estate agent. Sometimes the seller feels their home is worth more than the comparable homes in the neighborhood. They may have a high mortgage balance, and they think they must sell at a higher price. Most sellers are realistic about market conditions and listen to the guidance of their real estate agent. Your buyer’s agent will be able to help you determine if the seller’s asking price is unrealistic.

The closing date doesn’t work for the seller.

The seller may want to close on the home quickly, or they may need extra time to make a move. People decide to sell their homes for many different reasons. If the seller is moving to a retirement community, they may have to wait for an apartment or room to become available. The seller may want to close quickly. If they are testing the market, they may need time to find their replacement home.

The seller had a change of heart.

Although it is rare, I have seen circumstances where a seller just decides they are not ready to sell. They may have received offers much faster than they thought would happen, and it was just too much for them to handle. Selling a home can be a very emotional time. If the seller isn’t emotionally prepared, it is better they back out at this point than wait until you have invested time and money on inspections before they decide to terminate the transaction.

What happens after an offer is rejected? Well, that would depend on why the seller has rejected your offer. 

If the seller has accepted another offer, there is little you can do about losing your bid on the home. Finding out why they accepted another offer over yours will be valuable when you are ready to put in an offer on another home. You can watch the property to see if it does close. If the buyer terminates the offer or is declined for financing, you may have another opportunity to make an offer.

The seller may counter your offer by presenting different terms to you. At this point, you can either accept what the seller is proposing or counter the seller’s counteroffer. This negotiation can go back and forth as often as it takes to reach a mutual agreement.

The seller can reject your offer without countering terms with you. When the seller feels your offer is too far from what they desire, they are likely to reject your bid without making a counteroffer. If the seller has not accepted another offer, you may have an opportunity to restructure and present a new proposal.

When presenting an offer on a Brooklyn home, you need to be careful about submitting an offer that is too low. Each situation will need evaluation. Can you justify your low price? Be prepared that the seller may exclude those areas from your home inspection requests if you site reasons to lower the amount. Because you are dealing with people who may have emotional ties to their home, you may run the risk of offending them to the point they do not want to deal with you. 

When you are re-evaluating your offer to counter the seller, you need to take into consideration the following:

  • How long has the home been on the market?
  • Can you find comparable sales in the neighborhood?
  • What is the condition of the home?
  • Is it in a desirable area?
  • Are there other offers on the home?

The biggest question to ask yourself when crafting an offer on a Brooklyn home is: “If I were to lose this home, how would I feel?”

If you would be devastated, you need to go in with your best offer. If you would be sad but could find another home, you may go in with a lower offer. Check out this blog post to see if you have found the perfect home for you.

There are a lot of factors involved in preparing an offer on a home. There are a lot of emotions involved also. Finding a balance between the financial decision and the emotional decision is one of the values of working with a real estate agent when looking to purchase your Brooklyn home. Your real estate agent is working on your behalf and can help you separate your offer’s emotional and rational sides. 

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I have successfully brought hundreds of buyers and sellers together.

In the event our office is shut down, we are always committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]

Charles D'Allesandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 1901


Leave a Reply