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How to Respond to a Low Ball Offer

Edie Israel

After years of executive sales and marketing experience as well as entrepreneurial success, Edie entered into the real estate market of Southern Calif...

After years of executive sales and marketing experience as well as entrepreneurial success, Edie entered into the real estate market of Southern Calif...

Oct 24 4 minutes read

Receiving a low ball offer: few things are more frustrating during the home sales process. You've worked hard to get your home into the best shape possible. You hired the most qualified real estate agent you could find. Together, you carefully researched housing prices and decided on a strategy to price your home. When an interested buyer puts in an offer, it can be disheartening to discover that it's low. Sometimes offers are even tens of thousands below asking price. Here are some effective strategies for countering a low ball offer.

Understanding the reality of low ball offers

Buyers make low offers for a wide variety of reasons. One is simply because they can; they want to test the waters and see how low you're willing to go. Another is that they're not experienced and are receiving bad advice on how to negotiate. In other cases, they don't perceive the property to hold the same value that you do or they have unrealistic expectations of the marketplace. Often, your real estate agent will be able to get a feel for the reasons behind an offer and that will give you insight into how to successfully counter. It can also help confirm a suspicion that someone isn't the right buyer for your home.

Acknowledge it's a low ball offer

It's important to be direct in the process, and acknowledge that you see the offer as too far under the market value. Don't respond immediately; instead, let them know you'll get back to them. Then consider what tactic could work best. One approach is to simply say that you're willing to negotiate, but that you need to hear a serious starting offer. Another is to counter-offer with a price that's slightly lower than your asking price – even just $1,000 below it. State again that you're willing to negotiate but that you're only willing to discuss serious offers.

Demonstrate the value of the property

If there are concerns about the overall value of the property, try to learn what objections the buyers have. Be willing to discuss your pricing strategy and the comparable properties that you used to come up with your numbers. It is important to evaluate whether there are legitimate concerns you are not seeing, or that could be addressed through offering strategic seller concessions. If not, it is helpful to remember that you can share facts to validate your position but ultimately you may not change the buyer's mind.

When to walk away

In some cases, sellers have to be willing to walk away. The property may simply be out of the price range of the buyer, no matter how much they desire to make it work. In other cases, the buyer simply wants to play hardball and their top offer won't meet your bottom line. Recognizing these situations and walking away without wasting more of your time than necessary will minimize stress and let you focus on finding a serious buyer.

Are you selling your Yorba Linda home? Contact us today to learn how our experienced real estate team can help you navigate the selling process, including how to respond to a low ball offer.

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