Sellers – What To Do With a Low Ball Offer

My Active Rain Associate, Karen Crowson, gives some excellent advice to home sellers who receive a low ball offer on their home.  What should a seller do when they receive a low ball offer? I think Kaen gives some profound advice about how to respond.  If you just get mad and walk away, you may be missing out on a legitimate sale of your home.  Thanks to Karen for sharing this advice with us!

Via Karen Crowson, ABR, SRES, Livermore, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors, Livermore, CA):

Low PriceSellers – What To Do With a Low-Ball Offer

It’s difficult, but try your best not to be insulted by the offer.

I know it’s hard!!  But buyers listen to so many ‘experts’. Economists. Friends and neighbors. National or state news reports that may be far different from your local market.  Sometimes it’s wishful thinking on their part, hoping they’ll find someone who is at the point of desperation. Sometimes it’s trial and error. And occasionally, it  may be that they are lacking buyer’s comps for the property they’re considering and don’t really understand the value of the homes in your neighborhood.

First communicate……. Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, Thank you for your offer. 

Then you ultimately have three options:

  • Reject It.
  • Accept It.
  • Or, Counter It. 

Let’s talk about what potentially happens when you choose one of these options.

Accept It. This isn’t usually the favored option if the offer is truly a low-ball offer. However, a short-selling homeowner may consider this if they’re painfully close to a trustee sale, hoping to halt the proceedings. Whether or not the offered price will fly will now be a matter for the short-selling bank to determine.

Reject It. This sends a pretty strong message. There is nothing about this offer that you like. The buyer may be throwing things up against the wall to see what sticks. Your response very loud and clearly tells them this one doesn’t have even a glimmer of hope of coming to a meeting of the minds, at least from your point of view. If the buyer is a bottom fisher, they’ll learn pretty quickly that yours won’t be a contender. If however, they have a sincere interest in your home, they’ll learn two things 1) If they’re attached to this home but can’t afford the price tag, no matter what the market value, they’ll need to move on. 2) if they’re able to qualify for the list price, but don’t want to pay it, they’ll understand that the two of you are too far apart to make any headway. BUT, many a low-ball buyer offer has come back to the table with a better offer once this hard line has been drawn in the sand.

Counter It. If you can bring the buyer up some, and you’re open to coming down as well, the two of you may find an acceptable point of agreement.  If you’ve been on the market for awhile and have had no offers, it’s prudent to at least consider a counter. After all – if you don’t reach a mutually acceptable price and terms, then you’re no worse off than before.