Should I Make a Lowball Offer on a Home?

At a recent open house, one woman who really stood out because of the questions she asked me.

She asked, “in your opinion, what goes into the decision on what to offer a seller for their home? Should the buyer be making a lowball offer on a home they like?”

Here are a couple additional questions you should take into consideration if you are considering making a low-ball offer.

What does a “low-ball” offer say about you?

Making a lowball offer on a home is never smart, because it sets the tone that your offer isn’t realistic and you are not a serious buyer. Although there are a couple different elements to take into consideration when you are asking “how should I make an offer on this house?”

What if the house was just listed for sale?

If the house was listed active less than a week ago, and you know that there has been a lot of activity, it is safe to say that it may not last long. At this point, you won’t have another week to “sleep on it.” If the house is the right house for you and your family, your offer should be based on how serious you are. In a sellers market, always worrying about the “best price” can sometimes be the best way to miss out on the house you love.

What if the house has been on the market for a while?

If the house has been listed for a while with little to no activity, it is safe to say that there is something about the property that doesn’t fit current market trends at its current price. There is a fine line between making an offer that will be a “good deal”, and an offer that will “low ball” the seller. This is a line that your real estate agent should be educating you on.

How do I know if a house is “priced to sell?”

Your agent can find this out by looking at what homes have sold for recently in the same area and how this specific home compares. They can and should also ask the listing agent how many showings they have had and if they already have offers in hand.

What if the house is “priced to sell?”

As I mentioned before, IF the house is priced to sell, making a “low-ball” offer will only deter the seller. This will make a negative first impression, which is the last thing you want if you are serious about the house. Your offer should be a fair assessment of current market value for the house in its current condition.

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