What to Do When a Seller Says “No” to Your Initial Offer
Selling a property can be an extremely stressful and emotional process for homeowners. When you make an offer on a house and the seller says “no”, it can feel disheartening. But successful real estate investors view a “no” as an opportunity rather than a dead end.
In this blog post, we’ll share a framework for persisting with sellers, building trust, and eventually convincing them to accept your initial offer.
Don’t Take “No” Personally
When a seller declines your offer, avoid taking it personally. There are many reasons a seller may say no that have nothing to do with you or the details of your offer. For example, they may have sentimental attachment to the home, unrealistic expectations on pricing, or other personal circumstances influencing their decisions.
Rather than reacting emotionally, take a step back and recognize this “no” creates an opening for you to provide tremendous value to the seller. View yourself as a consultant whose goal is understanding their unique situation to uncover a creative win-win solution.
Master the “Soft No” Response
When you receive a “no”, the worst thing you can do is argue, get defensive, or give up. A better approach is what you can call the “soft no” response. Here's a simple 4-step framework:
- Acknowledge their position respectfully: “I understand that price doesn’t work for you right now.”
- Offer to provide ongoing support: “Please let me know if anything changes or if you have any other questions.”
- Express continued interest: “I’m still very interested in purchasing the property if we can find terms that do work for both of us.”
- Leave door open for future discussion: "Feel free to reach back out to me if you reconsider or have any other questions.”
This “soft no” response shows the seller you respect their position while keeping communication open for a future win-win solution.
Set Reminders to Follow Up
Just because a seller says “no” today doesn’t mean they won’t reconsider tomorrow. Markets change quickly and a seller’s circumstances or expectations can shift on a dime.
That’s why it’s critical to continue following up consistently over an extended window of time. Immediately after the initial call, you should set a reminder to follow up with the seller regularly every few weeks.
It’s a simple text message: “Hi \[seller’s name\]! Just checking in to see if you’re still interested in selling your property at \[address\]?”
This keeps you top of mind until they are ready to reconsider your terms.
Patience and Persistence Pay Off
Implementing a persistence framework demands patience, empathy, and consistency. Over time, there's a strong likelihood that a seller's initial rejection might transform into an affirmative agreement.
Consider a recent situation where a property was purchased for $38,000 less than the listed price. This happened after the seller initially rejected the offer and accepted a deal with another investor. However, through building trust and maintaining consistent follow-ups, the seller reconsidered when the initial deal fell through.
The seller expressed regret about not making the original choice, saying, "Honestly, I wish I wouldn't have wasted my time and would have chosen [the persistent buyer] originally."
Every rejection should be viewed as a chance to build trust and offer such compelling value that sellers feel compelled to engage in business.
With time, this approach leads to more motivated sellers agreeing to offers below their initial expectations.
Now it’s your turn to put this persistence framework into action. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions!
About Benjy Nichols
Benjy has been a media specialist at DealMachine for the last 2.5 years. He produces, writes, shoots, and edits our media content for our member's DealMachine and Real Estate education.