10 Reasons why your Purchase Offer was Rejected

The rigorous home buying process has several important steps that must be diligently and painstakingly taken by a buyer. These include submitting a purchase offer on a choice property which the seller may either accept or reject.

It is not easy to deal with rejection in any endeavour in life, the home buying process inclusive, no matter the reasons given for the rejection. The best approach for anyone considering buying a home or already in the process is to learn the most common factors or reasons that can make sellers reject their offers.

10 of the common reasons are discussed in the section below.


You did not Include Pre-approval or Pre-qualification Letter in your Purchase Offer.

Any homebuyer who intends to buy a home using mortgage needs to work to get pre-approval from their lender. There is a big difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification for mortgage. Including pre-approval letter in your purchase offer gives the seller an assurance that your lender – a financial institution has vetted you for funding you need to buy the home. This means that a pre-approval is more desirable and acceptable but if it is not available, at least, you should submit a pre-qualification letter with your purchase offer.

If neither of the two documents – pre-approval or pre-qualification letter is included in your purchase offer, rejection is inevitable because there is no way the seller will be certain that you can obtain a mortgage for your home.

You Submitted a Low Offer.

Submitting a low offer comes in either of two ways. It is either you submit an offer which is a little below the asking price or you submit an offer that is far below the market value of the property. Any of the two can happen to a buyer if they are not properly educated on the market value of the property they intend to buy. Your buyers’ agent is duty-bound to advise you on the selling price of similar homes in the neighbourhood. This is more reason why you should hire only a qualified and experienced buyers’ agent.

A buyer can get away with submitting an offer which is slightly below the asking price of a home but submitting an offer that is way below the market value of a property leads to outright rejection.

You Requested for Items that were not Included in the Sale.

Sellers determine the items to include in the sale of their homes and a seller can decide to exclude certain items such as appliances and personal effects because the items mean a lot to them. In this case, the seller tells their agent to explain to other agents that the items are not part of the sale.

If you ask for such items despite knowing that they are not included in the sale when buying a home, you are giving the seller a reason to reject your purchase offer.


You Requested too much Seller Concessions.

Seller concessions are known as the closing costs, such as property taxes, title insurance, inspection fees, appraisal fees, recording fees, and attorney’s fees, that the seller agrees to pay. At times, you can ask the seller to contribute some closing costs while at other times, they can just pay a percentage of the total closing costs.

If you ask for large contribution from the seller, your offer may be rejected. The price you are offering a seller determines if you will get seller concessions as the seller is still forgoing a large amount of money as part of contribution to your closing costs.

Listing Agent Wrote Competing Offer.

Another possible reason for rejection of purchase offer is because the listing agent has also written a competing offer. If a listing agent writes a purchase offer for a buyer and the offers are somehow similar, the buyer whose offer is written by the listing agent will, in most cases, have the upper hand.

Your Earnest Money Deposit was Weak.

Earnest money, also known as good faith deposit, is the initial deposit a buyer is asked to make within a few days their purchase offer is accepted. The money is usually held in the listing brokers escrow account until closing. The buyer uses the money to show the seller that they are serious about purchasing the home.

If your offer is rejected, it is probably because you gave a small earnest money deposit. A buyer should give a deposit of at least 2% of the purchase offer price when purchasing a home. If you are, however, purchasing a home with cash, you should expect to pay up to 5% of the purchase offer.

Giving a small earnest money deposit can project you as an unserious buyer to the seller. It can also make the seller believe you do not have much money saved up.


You Included Lots of Contingencies.

Purchase offers often contain some contingencies. Contingencies are clauses included in purchase offers that must be met for the contract to become legally binding. The terms of each contingency must be agreed on by the buyer and the seller, and they must sign the contract before it becomes binding. Examples of contingency are the time frame for the closing of the offer and an acceptable home inspection methods or time.

Putting a lot of contingencies in your purchase offer when buying a home raises the level of uncertainty and concern for the seller. They might wonder if the transaction will really end up at the closing table.

For instance, having a home inspection is important as it is the right of a buyer when buying a home but a buyer might be willing to waive such right so that their offer will be accepted. If there are other less important contingencies you can waive, you should have the home inspection.

Timeframe you Gave the Seller didn’t Work for them.

When you are buying a home and have to be moved out of your current apartment within 60-70 days, your buyers’ agent must ensure that the timing works for the seller, even before you look at the home. Using a timeframe that does not work for the seller is another reason why a purchase offer is rejected.

Though there is no exact timeframe for purchasing a home as situation defers from seller to seller, you should use a closing day that is commensurate with the duration the seller wishes to remain in possession. A professional real estate agent will surely know the right questions and answers to find out before putting the purchase offer together.

Your Buyers’ Agent is not Easy to Work with.

A buyers’ agent can also determine if a purchase offer will be accepted or rejected. The real estate community has buyers’ agents who have done many deals with one another for many years. Hence, they know those who are easy to work with and those who are not amongst them. This is where the reputation of a buyers’ agent comes in.

As a homebuyer, if you work with a buyers’ agent who has a reputation for being lazy and insensitive, you are likely to have your offer rejected. This is the reason why you have to learn how to interview buyers’ agents and find out the kind of reputation they have with their colleagues and other buyers. You can ask other real estate professionals about the reputation of the buyers’ agent you hope to work with.



The home buying process is not always as smooth as many people think because it includes several steps that must be taken diligently if the buyer is serious about getting their dream home.

In fact, a buyer may need to take several attempts and experience rejections before they finally have one accepted. To make the process seamless and ensure you achieve your aim as a buyer which is getting your dream home at the end of the day, you should consider the top 10 reasons why a purchase offer can be rejected discussed above and try as much as possible to avoid them.

Also, ensure your buyers’ agents do their due diligence, understand the seller’s situation and know what should and should not be included in the purchase offer before writing the purchase offer.



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