I’ve listed my home for $520,000. I received a full price offer but I want to counter for $530,000. Can I do this?

You might think this is a strange request since the homeowner/seller already received a full price offer but it may be more common than you think. Is it possible for a seller to counter an offer with a higher than asking price amount?

Technically yes. Even if a full price offer is presented to the seller, that homeowner doesn’t have to accept it or sell it at that price and can counter a price is higher than the listing price. However, the listing broker or listing agent may be entitled to commission even if the seller does not accept a full price offer because their job was to find a willing and able buyer to make an offer at the asking price, which has happened. The seller can respond and counter offer for a higher price, in which case the buyer or potential buyer could reject the offer altogether and not re-counter offer. If this happens, legally the listing agent has done their job and can receive commission whether the homeowner accepted the offer or not. This is why it’s important for sellers not to get too greedy and asking for more simply because they may have received an offer within the first day or two of listing. They may be entitled to pay a commission even if a deal doesn’t close.

If a real estate agent finds a willing and able buyer, which means that the buyer is willing to purchase the property at the full asking price and they are able, meaning they are financially able and physically able to purchase the property, that listing agent should be entitled to a full commission even if the seller rejects the offer.

While this is not extremely common it can be an issue, so it’s important to discuss this with your listing agent before getting yourself into a jam and requesting more money than you originally asked for. Is it worth losing a commission over a few thousand dollars? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s important to talk about this and understand both the homeowner’s legal rights and the legal rights of the listing agent when they took the contract.

For more information or answers to any of your real estate questions feel free to give me a call or simply leave me a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer it in the next blog post or personally.

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