When you put your home on the market, you’ve probably spent time and money making it look its very best. Your agent most likely helped you determine the list price by doing a market analysis and reviewing the list vs. sales price reports for your community. Now the offers are beginning to come in. You’re excited and start thinking about your plans to buy another home and move. But the offer is low. Now what?
The most important thing to do is remain calm and unemotional. Most sellers feel insulted when a low ball offer comes in. It feels as if the buyer is saying your property isn’t worth what you’re asking. The buyers could simply be trying to get the best deal they can on a home they really like. They may also be trying to figure out how motivated you are to sell or what the rock-bottom price is you’ll be willing to accept.
What are your options? There are three options for a response to a low ball offer – accept, counter or reject, but let your real estate agent negotiate with the buyer or the buyer’s agent. Always remain gracious because any offer is a starting point.
Accepting a low ball offer immediately, may leave money on the table. Even when you are a motivated seller, you might ask for a fast closing date or elimination of requested repair credits in response to the lower price.
Counter the offer at your full asking price or just slightly less. This way, you’re letting the buyers know you want to work with them, but you’re not letting them know how low you’re willing to go. Now the ball is back in their court.
Rejecting an offer outright is not the best strategy unless you have other interest or offers on the table. You may be able to successfully negotiate a deal that works for all parties. Respond positively. Tell the buyer what you like about their offer – maybe it’s the time to close or their solid financing, but state that you’re too far apart on price. Your agent should make sure the buyer and their agent are fully aware of the recent sale prices for homes like yours in the area.
Remember, in a negotiation strategy is taking place on both sides. Keep cool and ask your real estate agent.