Let's Ask Katie - August 2023

Let’s Ask Katie

Expert Advice for all your real estate questions from Katie Machoskie


Hi Katie,

We found a home we loved and wrote an offer for exactly the purchase price. We were shocked when the seller didn’t take our offer. Doesn’t a seller have to accept our offer if it’s full price?


Connie L, Confused in Corona del Mar


Hi Connie,

Rejection is always tough–even in real estate. That’s a great (and frequently asked) question! Sellers are not obligated to accept an offer, even if it’s an offer at the exact price that they are requesting. A seller may decline an offer for a multitude of reasons. The escrow period may not be as short or as long as they are hoping. A buyer might write an offer that is contingent on them selling their departing property–and that may not be appealing to a seller. Rather than decline the entire offer, the seller could submit a counter offer outlining the terms that they’re hoping for. A skilled agent will negotiate on your behalf and find common ground that helps get your offer accepted. They may, however, politely decline if the price and terms are too far apart from what works for them. I always encourage a seller to sign the “Rejection of Offer” clause in an offer so the buyer sees that the offer was presented. It’s still a seller’s market in Orange County, so it’s critical to present the strongest offer possible and avoid rejection.


Dear Katie,

We’re putting our home on the market and were talking with friends who said the offer process moves really quickly. Is it normal to have to respond to an offer in 24 hours? Why the rush?


Ted and Sara, Newport Coast



Hi Ted and Sara,

The California Residential Purchase Agreement has a default response time of three days. Most agents will shorten this time period to 24 hours to minimize the number of competing offers. Buyers want to show you that they are serious about their purchase and are ready to move quickly. As a seller, it’s a good idea to respond promptly and show the buyer that you are a “serious” seller, and set the tone and pace of the transaction.


Katie Machoskie is a real estate agent and team lead of Machoskie & Associates at COMPASS in Orange County. With over 20 yrs of experience, she has sold over $1 billion and she and her team of neighborhood specialists had over $172 million in transactions in 2022. Have a question? Email her at [email protected] DRE#01380037

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