This happens more than I would like to admit. But, it is how you respond that makes all the difference.
Please remember, your agent is required to bring you any and all offers made on your home, so once and a while you’ll receive what’s known as a “lowball” offer. Lowball offers are buyer offers which far fall below your asking price. Sometimes they’re so low that they only serve to make you angry.
Don’t get angry! While selling your home is an emotional process, there are rational, effective strategies for dealing with the lowball offer. Sometimes the lowball offer can even turn into the right price if you handle negotiations the right way.
- Remain calm. Your urge may be to tell the buyer to go #*&@! themselves, but there’s nothing to be gained in making enemies.
- Understand that sometimes buyers aren’t familiar with true market value. They may be from somewhere where homes are much less expensive, or they could be first-time buyers who have been counseled by friends and family to begin with lowball offers.
- Have your agent communicate that while you’re happy to work with them as buyers, you’ll need an offer which is somewhat more competitive and at a level you could consider seriously.
- Consider countering for a small amount off your asking price to signal your willingness to negotiate, but reiterate that you will need to hear something more in line with market value to continue negotiations.
- Alternately, if you really are in a hurry to sell, counter with your rock-bottom offer. This number may not be close to their lowball, but it could be substantially less than your listing price. This may make the lowball buyer suddenly reconsider their position, tempted by the opportunity to purchase the property at what they consider to be a “substantial discount.”
- Ask the buyer to justify their price. If they truly believe their offer is genuine and fair, they should be able to point to reasons why your listing price is inflated. Make them show their homework. If they haven’t done it, you’ll know soon enough.
- Don’t fall for the “but we can’t afford more” pity play. Sympathize with their financial situation, but in no way let it sway you from the true value of your home.
Of course sometimes a stream of lowball offers can indicate that the home is priced too high. Occasionally agents will “buy the listing” by assuring sellers they can get the higher price, only to take a lower offer much later down the line. It’s not a sound strategy. If you’re looking for the honest market value of your home, get in touch with me today!