House Offers Keep Getting Rejected? Try These 4 Things

Like asking out your crush to the school dance, only to be turned down, no one likes facing rejection. But in the case of house offers, a rejection can impact more than your ego. 

Receiving a few rejections isn’t uncommon, especially if you’re buying in a highly desirable area. But at a certain point, if you’re only receiving rejections over a longer period of time, then it’s a good idea to take a step back. Use this guide as a way to reflect and move forward so that you can finally land your dream home.

1. Reflect on where you’re looking.

Countless cities in the US have houses that fly off the market like hotcakes. If you’re putting in house offers in highly competitive areas, it’s time to reassess your strategy. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • House or location? Is the house itself or the location more important to you? Can you sacrifice living in the city for a house that’s 45 minutes away? If so, start expanding your search area. If not, consider buying (or renting) a condo or apartment — and analyze if this is a good investment.
  • Quality or affordability? Can you afford to up your house offer? Are you comfortable with keeping your budget at the expense of going for a less desirable property?

2. Learn from every rejection.

Jenny P., a homeowner who has dealt with house offer rejections writes, “Use [the rejection] as an experience to understand what your favorite features were on the home, so you know EXACTLY what you want for when that right one does come along. With that, put your best hand on the table when the home you truly want most comes along.”

3. Detach your emotions.

Who hasn’t scoped out a house they love and imagined themselves living there? While fantasizing about wraparound porches and breakfast nooks is fun, your hopes will rise and subsequently crash with each rejection. You’ll save yourself some heartache by channeling your inner zen gnome as pictured above, which we didn’t know was a thing but are here for it.

Remember that even an accepted house offer isn’t a guarantee, especially not if you write in contingencies that end up affecting closing. Until closing, try to not get too emotionally invested or it will make the process even more challenging.

4. Try a new approach.

Feel like you’ve done all of the above and it’s not working out? Don’t despair. There are still plenty of things to try!

Write an escalation clause.

Most home buyers put in an offer with their max price. They often can end up paying more than their max price, potentially more than was necessary.

Escalation clauses leverage this by listing your initial offer, your maximum, and an incremental amount that you’ll pay up to that point. In practice, this looks like saying, “I don’t want to pay more than $300k. My offer for this house is $280k but I’ll increase my offer by $1,200, up to $300k.”

Look for overvalued properties.

Overvalued properties are properties that sit on the market for months. Do some research to find an overvalued property and put in a lower offer.

Work with a Realtor.

If you haven’t hired a Realtor at this point, it’s a good time to do so. The right agent has knowledge on writing house offers and knows of more properties to look at than what you might see in your Zillow search.

Try a time-limited event. 

The time-limited events at RealtyHive connect motivated sellers with buyers. You get to choose how you want to bid and put in an offer and the sellers might accept your offer before going to auction (like a regular house sale). Look through our listings and test your new knowledge today!

What Is an Escalation Clause?

You’re a first-time home buyer and just found your dream house. You put in an offer. The seller goes with someone else.

That’s OK, because shortly after you find another beautiful home! You put in your offer. But once again, the seller goes with someone else.

Anyone would be bummed in this situation. Most would be thinking the same thing: How can I break the pattern?

The escalation clause is a potential solution. See how this real estate tip can keep your offer on the table!

What It Is

The escalation clause is this little-known addendum that you can add to your offer. If you hear that there are other offers on the table, you can submit an escalation clause to help give your offer a little boost.

Infographic explaining what an escalation clause is in real estate

How It Works

Oftentimes, interested home buyers will submit an offer on a house they really love, listing the max price they’d pay off the bat. Their offer still might not get accepted, but even if it does, they might end up paying more than they needed to.

Let’s say you put in your offer at $250k. You find out there are other offers. Here’s what you can do:

  • Determine what your maximum amount is
    • Ex: “I don’t want to pay more than $280k on a house.”
  • Decide the incremental amount you’ll extend your initial offer
    • Ex: “I’ll increase my offer by $1200 up to $280k.”

There’s a lot that goes into making an offer, and an escalation clause doesn’t guarantee success. However, it can keep your foot in the real estate door, and it’s handy for when you find a house that you really want.

Can an Escalation Clause Backfire?

Not really, except in the sense that you could end up paying your max when you didn’t need to. The best way to prevent this is by only submitting an escalation clause when you know there are other offers. Don’t submit if the sellers tell you “We’re expecting other offers” or something along those lines—only when there are actual, written offers on the table. Ask the seller’s agent to let you know when other written offers have been presented.

Banner with white man standing in front of house with text "Buy. Sell. RealtyHive."

Pre-Event Offers: An Escalation Clause Alternative

Placing a pre-event offer for a home auction is similar to an escalation clause. With RealtyHive, your pre-event offer could be accepted and then you wouldn’t even have to wait for the event itself! You can submit your offer and increase it in the same increments. We also sell traditional properties, so escalation clauses can help in competitive situations.

You might have been unsuccessful with offers in the past, but with your newfound escalation clause and pre-event offer knowledge, we think your future of home ownership is looking pretty bright. Check out some of the incredible properties on RealtyHive today!

Special thanks to @fixandflip_kdesigns for their business tips.