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Common Reasons Home Purchase Offers Are Rejected

residenceYou've been thinking about owning a home for sometime, but, until recently, haven't been committed to the idea. Now, you're seriously considering getting into the real estate market and becoming a homeowner. That's great, especially if you have a good job, a down payment, and money set aside for the home inspection, wind mitigation inspection, moving expenses, closing costs, and an earnest money deposit. Even though you're ready to go through the process and become a homeowner, you should know that it isn't always simple or easy. Things can go awry and you should know the common reasons home purchase offers are rejected.

Common Reasons Home Purchase Offers are Rejected


Remember, a purchase offer works two ways: it can be the very thing that helps you stand out from other interested buyers, but, it can also be the one factor that causes the seller to quickly communicate a rejection. The whole process is nerve-racking enough, having to search online for so long, sorting through all those listings, and pairing down the list of possibilities. Then, seeing the homes first hand, and, this can take a lot more than you would suppose.

...entering the market and looking for your dream home is just the first step. After you’ve identified a home you love, you’ll need to make an offer. As you make your way through the buying process, remember that your home offer works both ways: It can help you stand out from other buyers—or lead to a quick rejection from a seller. A well-made home offer is key to landing your dream home, but a poor offer can end in a definite no. --Realtor.com

It does take time to find the home that's right for you and when you finally see it firsthand, you'll probably act fast. That's when you settle on a purchase offer price and submit said offer to the seller. This can be a very anxious time, waiting as the clock ticks, to hear back from the seller. If you're dealing with a savvy home seller, you might have to wait until the last-minute to hear back, because there's probably a time limit on your offer.


A well-made home purchase offer can be an express route to acceptance; but, a poor home purchase offer can end sadly and abruptly with an emphatic "no." You certainly don't want to find yourself hearing such bad news, so, here are the common reasons home purchase offers are rejected by sellers:


  • Better offers came-in. Until a seller commits to a specific offer, he or she can take as many as he or she wants. Even sellers who accept one offer might take others as backup offers.

  • Request for an extended closing date. Requesting a long escrow period is something that many sellers would prefer to avoid. If you need more than 30 days to close, whether it's to save-up a little more money, the need to sell your current home, or, something else, know that request can sabotage your purchase offer. In general, sellers want a short escrow period, because they need to relocate, are going through a personal life change, or another reason they need to move-on in a short time.

  • The purchase offer is too low. Some buyers embrace the strategy of going in with a low offer in order to start a negotiation so as to buy the home for a significant amount less than the asking price. While this can work in certain situations, it usually backfires and the seller simply rejects the lowball offer in favor of a more reasonable one that's at or closer to the listing price.

  • No mortgage home loan pre-approval or proof of funds. In today's real estate market, a pre-qualification isn't sufficient enough to put sellers at-ease because it's not the same as a pre-approval. A pre-qualification doesn't necessarily qualify you to be in a particular price range. But, a mortgage home loan pre-approval tells the seller you have your financing lined-up and are ready to go through with the transaction, after the purchase offer is accepted.

  • Too strict purchase offer term contingencies. It's perfectly understandable and good practice to protect your interests and that's the reason for purchase offer contingencies. These are stipulations which the seller must accept, such as the property passing home inspection, pest inspection, and a good appraisal. However, if these are too strict or too numerous, it could lead to an outright rejection.


Another reason home purchase offers are rejected is when the earnest money deposit just isn't enough to convince the seller you're sincere about buying the home. A low good faith deposit causes the seller to lose faith in your commitment. If you need more information or advice about buying or selling a home, just contact us.