Jump to content

Menu

Why do people get angry when you make a low offer on a house?


Recommended Posts

Low offer is one thing, insulting is another. In our last house, we had someone make an offer several thousand dollars lower than we paid (info easily available to anyone, especially someone working with a realtor) after we put almost $10K into re-doing the entire kitchen; at that time, the housing market was a strong, seller's market. Before they made an offer, they came to see it twice and brought some people by to peek in the windows while I was home - very intrusive. My husband wanted to counter with an offer higher than our original asking price as a "salute" to their wasting our time, but our realtor and I talked him out of it. To this day, I wish I hadn't! If you do your homework and make a reasonable low offer, most sellers will enter the negotiation process. However, an absurd low offer is just a waste of everyone's time.

 

Did you put a deadline for a counter in your offer? Most offers include that - if the deadline has passed, the seller isn't interested.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Respect the buyer, don't waste their time with low offers. If you want to negotiate then make an offer close to their asking price. I would be one of those that wouldn't respond to a low ball offer. People don't like to feel like someone is trying to take advantage of them. They have an asking price for a reason. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're in a position that you can lose the house and wait for another, do what feels right.

 

I have a friend who made an offer so low that her husband was embarrassed and was sure the owner would be insulted. The owner was selling without a realtor and to their amazement instead accepted it because she liked them and really wanted them to have her home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it just depends on how you make the offer. Generally when it is nonpersonal, meaning through realtors or paperwork, people may assume it is insulting. However if you can do it person to person you can make it seem less personal. KWIM?

 

We made a reasonable offer on a house and were turned down. We looked at other houses and came back to the original one. We decided to accept the counter offer and had the realtor in our home. The only thing was one of the other homes we looked at was out of our price range by $30k. We knew we couldn't afford it but I decided to call the owner, fsbo. I explained that I knew this was a low offer but it was all that we had. I didn't want it to insult them. I explained that if I didn't try I would always wonder what if. I even told her we were signing papers on the other house right then. She said she couldn't accept the low offer and I said thank you. I went and signed on the other house. Right as the realtor was packing up our signed papers, our phone rang. The owner called back and said they would accept. I was so excited. We tore up the realtor papers. (Was a friend of ours.) We have lived in this house for the past 6 yrs and couldn't be happier with our purchase. I am grateful that the owners took our "low" offer because it was our "top" offer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We plan to list our house next year. We have a price we are willing to "go down to", if someone were to offer some ridiculously lowball offer, we would know they weren't interested in paying nearly what we need to sell for and would not even bother counter offering.

 

Dawn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people get emotionally involved in the whole process. When we've gotten a low-ball offers (in the past), we just laughed. Why get mad? No one knows what will fly, and assuming that the other party is meaning to be insulting...well, really they are probably just fishing. You either bite on the hook or you don't.

 

To me, insulting would be an offer asking me to pay the buyer to buy the house (in other words, an offer with a negative sign in front of it :tongue_smilie:).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're in a position that you can lose the house and wait for another, do what feels right.

 

I have a friend who made an offer so low that her husband was embarrassed and was sure the owner would be insulted. The owner was selling without a realtor and to their amazement instead accepted it because she liked them and really wanted them to have her home.

 

 

I was in a situation similar to this many years ago - the seller was listed with a realtor and I was working with a realtor, but she was selling the house that her mom had loved loved loved and she didn't want tons of people walking through it.

 

She was happy to be accept our offer (which was a good offer - not a low ball offer - considering that the house had not had one thing done to it in 65 years). I am sure that 'flippers' would have offered her much less.

 

I think it's important not to insult the seller, and I've always had a realtor who will of course write a contract for any amount you say, but will advise that low ball offers will tend to put up a wall and make negotiations strained and the entire process difficult.

 

Check comps, do homework, and an offer shouldn't be too far off the mark.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We looked at a great house and a piece of property. It is part of an estate, so they have no need to sell. The asking price is almost double the tax assessment value. It's been on the market for over 2 years. We planned on offering much less than the asking price. Would they have been offended? I don't know. I thought their price was offensive!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the anger comes from the feeling of having wasted time and having gotten hopes up that maybe the time spent (cleaning, evacuating for a showing, etc) was for a legit buyer. Really low offers (to me) show me one of two things. Either someone can't afford your place and have wasted your time or they are trying to make a profit off your loss (flip that house types).

 

To me, a really low offer is one that is 50 - 75% of the asking price - pending the asking price.

 

Like others, we mainly laugh at them as laughing is better than getting angry. We don't bother countering. We just say no or let them expire. Fortunately, using houses we've had listed for sale as rentals has been a decent back up for us. However, if one really needs to sell, I could see them getting angrier about a really low offer. It's more personal with higher stakes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the anger comes from the feeling of having wasted time and having gotten hopes up that maybe the time spent (cleaning, evacuating for a showing, etc) was for a legit buyer. Really low offers (to me) show me one of two things. Either someone can't afford your place and have wasted your time or they are trying to make a profit off your loss (flip that house types).

 

To me, a really low offer is one that is 50 - 75% of the asking price - pending the asking price.

 

Like others, we mainly laugh at them as laughing is better than getting angry. We don't bother countering. We just say no or let them expire. Fortunately, using houses we've had listed for sale as rentals has been a decent back up for us. However, if one really needs to sell, I could see them getting angrier about a really low offer. It's more personal with higher stakes.

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're in the opposite situation. We rent, but we have to do all the work and wasting our time for the owner that is trying to sell. She has the property listed ridiculously high. Her manager, also a realtor, turned her down flat and told her to find another realtor to sell it for her. We got the house spotless, they came in and took their measurements, then nothing. We got a call, months later mind you, on a Friday that she wanted to list it that weekend and needed measurements again. I said no, the could come next week (thank God this is all going through the realtor as the landlady doesn't speak English). Scrubbed spotless, he came, shook his head as her "lower" price is still way more than she can get for it. Especially considering all the things that she has never done to place that it needs. She thinks she should get more because it's "investment" property and the side yard has potential for a parking lot (yet the city refused her late husband a permit because they said he could not take a somewhat valued tree that is there). So the start of our schoolyear is looking that the house will have to be sitting constantly perfect as we'll only get 24hr warning of walk throughs. I have SEVEN children and a husband that works nights! ACK! It's not going to sell and *I* am the one put out with wasted time, not her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people get emotionally involved in the whole process. When we've gotten a low-ball offers (in the past), we just laughed. Why get mad? No one knows what will fly, and assuming that the other party is meaning to be insulting...well, really they are probably just fishing. You either bite on the hook or you don't.

 

To me, insulting would be an offer asking me to pay the buyer to buy the house (in other words, an offer with a negative sign in front of it :tongue_smilie:).

 

I think this is the whole problem.

 

It is a business transaction, plain and simple. If you can't divorce your emotions from it, then you do not need to be buying or selling a house, you need to be renting one (IMO).

 

When I'm looking at a house, I could care less how much someone paid for it, put into it, or anything else. All I am looking at is how much is this piece of property worth in this market, today? That the seller bought the property at the "top of the market" is not my problem/concern. That they chose to "upgrade everything" when the neighborhood is not at that level (eg: the comps are not comparable) is not either.

 

Everyone wants to be comfortable in their home. And I'm sure that many, if not most people believe they will stay in their home forever. The reality is, though, the majority of people don't. And when a single home is "upgraded" out of the level of the surrounding homes, that doesn't necessarily give it a leg up on the sticker price. So what the owner views as a "lowball" or "insulting" offer is actually just an "offer" consistent with their neighborhood and the prevailing market conditions.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

 

asta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As always, it depends on the person. The house that my dad, and his father grew up in (it was my dad's grandparents first/only house) was sold recently. If someone would have tried to low-ball them, I'm pretty sure they would be insulted. There is history in that house, it is a home.

 

I know that sentimental value doesn't mean a thing irl, but for some people it's not just a house, it's home and low offers are the equivalent of saying it's not good enough.

 

:shrug:

 

In the long term I don't see what it matters. If you don't want to deal with people that love their home and consider low offers insulting, then don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is the whole problem.

 

It is a business transaction, plain and simple. If you can't divorce your emotions from it, then you do not need to be buying or selling a house, you need to be renting one (IMO).

 

When I'm looking at a house, I could care less how much someone paid for it, put into it, or anything else. All I am looking at is how much is this piece of property worth in this market, today? That the seller bought the property at the "top of the market" is not my problem/concern. That they chose to "upgrade everything" when the neighborhood is not at that level (eg: the comps are not comparable) is not either.

 

Everyone wants to be comfortable in their home. And I'm sure that many, if not most people believe they will stay in their home forever. The reality is, though, the majority of people don't. And when a single home is "upgraded" out of the level of the surrounding homes, that doesn't necessarily give it a leg up on the sticker price. So what the owner views as a "lowball" or "insulting" offer is actually just an "offer" consistent with their neighborhood and the prevailing market conditions.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

 

asta

Okay, what?!? Someone loves their home and is selling for unknown reasons and because they're attached to their home and find low offers insulting they should become renters?!?

 

:001_huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that was how negotiations began! I hear these stories about people who got angry and would not negotiate at all after hearing an offer. Am I missing something here?

 

And how long does it take to hear back about an offer?

 

Michele :001_huh:

 

Michele that question has always baffled me too. All they have to do is say it's too low to negotiate from and give the buyer another chance to come in a bit higher, or drop the price so very little that it let's the buyer know that they are willing to negotiate some, but the offer wasn't in the ballpark. It amazes me how people take something like that as an insult. It is a buyers' market, and they should expect that people are going to try for as low as they can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We plan to list our house next year. We have a price we are willing to "go down to", if someone were to offer some ridiculously lowball offer, we would know they weren't interested in paying nearly what we need to sell for and would not even bother counter offering.

 

Dawn

 

I think you should reconsider. I would absolutely counter offer, it can't hurt, right?

 

When my husband and I were 19 we knew nothing about buying a house. We found a house that we loved and our realtor advised us to offer $5000 less for the house and ask them to pay part of the closing costs. She told us that the house was slightly above market value. Because of what our realtor told us we expected a counter offer at the very least and were were willing to pay full price for the house if that did happen. Well, the sellers were insulted with our offer and didn't even want to work with us!:mad:That experience put us off from buying a house for 2 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, what?!? Someone loves their home and is selling for unknown reasons and because they're attached to their home and find low offers insulting they should become renters?!?

 

:001_huh:

 

It's an inanimate object. You can love it into foreclosure.

 

 

a

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mommaduck, If you are only renting, why are you responsible to have the place spotless for walkthroughs? Is there something in the lease that says you must do this? There is no way I would go through all that effort for a house that I didn't own. I would just try to have the place reasonably picked up and that is about it. The plus side is that the kids learn some good habits, but I would definitely not inconvenience the family so that someone else can make a profit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, we are on our 4th house purchased since we got married and we are seasoned so to speak. We do live in a neighborhood that would not attract first time home buyers, so I am not worried about a $5K lower offer and wouldn't consider that "lowball." I am talking about 75K below asking price. There is just no way that person is interested in paying what we need them to pay.

 

Now, I would consider a "this is our best counter offer" offer, but I am not going back and forth for weeks over someone who isn't even coming CLOSE to what we need to get.

 

Dawn

 

I think you should reconsider. I would absolutely counter offer, it can't hurt, right?

 

When my husband and I were 19 we knew nothing about buying a house. We found a house that we loved and our realtor advised us to offer $5000 less for the house and ask them to pay part of the closing costs. She told us that the house was slightly above market value. Because of what our realtor told us we expected a counter offer at the very least and were were willing to pay full price for the house if that did happen. Well, the sellers were insulted with our offer and didn't even want to work with us!:mad:That experience put us off from buying a house for 2 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We plan to list our house next year. We have a price we are willing to "go down to", if someone were to offer some ridiculously lowball offer, we would know they weren't interested in paying nearly what we need to sell for and would not even bother counter offering.

 

Dawn

 

I hear what you are saying. However, the bolded phrase is irrelevant to the buyers. In this market, what one needs to sell it for and the market value can be miles apart. When my sister was a RE agent, she said that this was one of the biggest challenges she faced when advising sellers. I am not saying that this is the case with you, but it is a common pitfall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see a reason to get angry over a low offer. We had one really low offer on our previous house, we laughed and did not even try to negotiate because they were being silly. They wanted us to give them the house for 1/2 of our asking price and put in a fence. LOL! We ended up getting what we asked and just paying closing costs. OTOH we offered $20,000 less than asking for this house and honestly I thought our agent had lost his marbles, but it worked! We ended up paying 17,000 less than asking for this house. We were shocked given the neighborhood!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Realtors have an interest in keeping house prices high -- they do work on commission. So a realtor might tell a buyer their offer would be "insulting" so as not to let the negotiations end in a much lower price.

 

I suspect there are honest realtors out there who wouldn't do this, but the realtor we worked with certainly tried a number of tactics like this to keep us from bargaining. She also refused to show us houses that she didn't think would make her enough money, and when we did finally get her to show them, spent the whole time we were there making disparaging comments about the house.

 

Oh, and she lied that the rail line next to one house we looked at had been closed down and was never used. (If it wasn't a lie, she'd have to be completely clueless, as she lives right near that rail line.)

 

We didn't have time to switch realtors, so we had to make the best of her questionable tactics -- ie, we had to ignore her advice. We made a lower offer on one house that she assured us would "insult" the seller. The seller countered 500 dollars higher. We bought the house.

 

This realtor's behavior didn't get her any referrals from us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we were looking to buy last year, we put in an offer on our first choice house that was 60% of the asking price. Our offer was what the house was worth, but the sellers obviously didn't have the same thoughts. We walked away, and the house is still for sale. It's been on the market for 3 years and will never be sold for their asking price. They may "need" to make that much on the house, but their need is irrelevant.

 

We paid their asking price on a different property that was valued appropriately.

 

I don't know if the sellers were insulted, but they shouldn't have been. They should have spend their energy determining why we were offering a very low price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO Real estate sales is a game. As Asta said, you have to remove your emotions from the process or it will eat you up. In most parts of the country it's a buyer's market and a low ball offer is not always an insult. It's a shot in the dark, you may that one seller who just wants out.

 

Part of the discomfort when selling comes in the train of communication that takes place. You get the offer from your realtor, who got it from another realtor, who talks with you, then goes back to her, then to the buyer, etc, etc. Their realtor is telling them something about the market, while your realtor is trying (hopefully) to get you the best price and still see some commission from the game.

 

We sold our first house FSBO. My dh has been in sales, the people making the offer had been in real estate sales, they knew how to play the game. Dh negotiated the final price on the phone while we were at a baseball game. Easiest real estate transaction ever. But that was several years ago, the market was different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...In this market, what one needs to sell it for and the market value can be miles apart. When my sister was a RE agent, she said that this was one of the biggest challenges she faced when advising sellers...

 

I absolutely agree. Some sellers think that what they owe or how much they put into a house somehow determines the selling price. That's irrelevant. What matters is what the market will support. If you paid $48,000 for a house and kept it for forty years and did some minor upgrades, and now similar houses in the neighborhood are selling for $850,000 (say, you'd bought in SoCal, lol), you can ask that and probably get it. If you paid $300,000 for your house three years ago and put in $50,000 worth of work and did some creative financing so that you now actually owe $420,000 on the house (and yes, a *lot* of people have done such things in the last decade), that doesn't mean your house is *worth* $420,000 or more if similar houses in your neighborhood are now going for $260,000 because of the market downturn.

 

I also think it's ludicrous to be "offended" by a lowball offer. (Especially if your original asking price was not truly in line with what your home's features and the local market will support.) Don't respond if you think there's no chance of reconciling at a price that will work for both parties, but don't get emotional about it either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is the whole problem.

 

It is a business transaction, plain and simple. If you can't divorce your emotions from it, then you do not need to be buying or selling a house, you need to be renting one (IMO).

 

When I'm looking at a house, I could care less how much someone paid for it, put into it, or anything else. All I am looking at is how much is this piece of property worth in this market, today? That the seller bought the property at the "top of the market" is not my problem/concern.

 

 

 

asta

 

That I can understand. I can also understand a firm "no" to offers that are really not possible. But I grew up around "wheelers and dealers" who enjoyed the bargaining process, and I was surprised to see anger, not refusal, but anger!

 

Very interesting insights from everyone! :bigear:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I absolutely agree. Some sellers think that what they owe or how much they put into a house somehow determines the selling price. That's irrelevant. What matters is what the market will support. If you paid $48,000 for a house and kept it for forty years and did some minor upgrades, and now similar houses in the neighborhood are selling for $850,000 (say, you'd bought in SoCal, lol), you can ask that and probably get it. If you paid $300,000 for your house three years ago and put in $50,000 worth of work and did some creative financing so that you now actually owe $420,000 on the house (and yes, a *lot* of people have done such things in the last decade), that doesn't mean your house is *worth* $420,000 or more if similar houses in your neighborhood are now going for $260,000 because of the market downturn.

 

I also think it's ludicrous to be "offended" by a lowball offer. (Especially if your original asking price was not truly in line with what your home's features and the local market will support.) Don't respond if you think there's no chance of reconciling at a price that will work for both parties, but don't get emotional about it either.

:iagree:

 

It sounds like the problem is two totally different perspectives of the negotiation process: if one side is ready to "wheel and deal" (it is that a common expression, or only in my family?) and the other side is expecting a very conservative process. Hmmmmmm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I believe that you should always counter every offer from every qualified buyer, no matter how low that offer may be, and that counter-offer should be reasonable (based on current market conditions,) not spiteful.

 

Selling your home is a business transaction. You are selling a product. You need to be able to emotionally detach yourself from the house, and if you're insulted at a low offer, you're not detached enough.

 

You can't blame people for taking a shot at making a low offer. They want to get your house for the lowest possible price, so they submit a lowball offer. That does not mean, in many cases, that they aren't willing to significantly increase their offer if you counter; it just means that they are feeling you out to see how low you will go. It 's not an insult to your decorating skills, your remodeling abilities, or your personal taste. Your house may be the buyer's dream home, but that doesn't mean that they won't try to get a deal on it... and it also doesn't mean that they won't end up paying a fair price for it if you are willing to negotiate with them.

 

As has already been said, a house is worth what the market will bear, not what you owe on it, or what you paid for it 3 years ago when prices were higher, or how much you think it should be worth because you love it so much and wish you didn't have to move.

 

I know others will disagree, but I honestly think that every offer deserves a counter, unless the buyer was not pre-qualified, and it's obvious that he or she can't afford the house.

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know about the deal you made, but I'm hearing about people who offer a *ridiculously* low price, assuming that because the economy's bad the sellers will be happy to jump on anything.

 

A young couple we know (children of friends of ours) were making offers of $30,000 (ish) on houses in a Madison, WI neighborhood, and couldn't understand why no seller would take them seriously. After a couple of months of this they finally listened to the advice of those around them and made an offer that was lower than the sellers' asking price, but still comparable to the value of homes in which they were looking. It was accepted.

 

A builder friend here, where the housing market is still fairly good, tells me of people who offer crazy, low prices on *new homes*. He doesn't get offended, though, just asks them to make a reasonable offer.

 

The last home we sold before the bubble burst was a nice house, nice condition, and was a *steal* at $120,000. (We were moving to KS, and simply wanted to have the house sold so we could look for housing in KS.) A couple buying their first home offered us $95,000. :glare: Um, no. They buyers were angry at us because we didn't negotiate with them. The house sold for our asking price about a week later, though. :D

 

Maybe your offer came after a string of strange offers from others and the seller just flipped. I don't know. But I'd suggest doing your homework on the houses you're looking at before making an offer. Low offers are fine, insultingly low offers are not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mommaduck, If you are only renting, why are you responsible to have the place spotless for walkthroughs? Is there something in the lease that says you must do this? There is no way I would go through all that effort for a house that I didn't own. I would just try to have the place reasonably picked up and that is about it. The plus side is that the kids learn some good habits, but I would definitely not inconvenience the family so that someone else can make a profit.

It doesn't matter, even if the plumber comes, I get stuck with cleaning the mess. I have a large family and it's double the work. So even if I have one bad day, then it take a few days cleaning up. I'm working on my schedule and getting things going with a routine. It's just that everything went to CHAOS last year when I tried going back to school in the mornings (while dh was home), they switched his schedule to 10-12hr days/7 days a week, and I lost a baby last winter as well...then spent the rest of the school year dealing with testing, pulling portfolios together (no, I did not have a system...I will this year!), evaluations, etc. So this year, I wanted NON EVENTS...nothing, nada...I like to be left alone so I can actually stick to my schedule and keep up with everything. It's not like we are a family where no one lives here, only sleeps here and everything stays perfect (and it's definitely not like some of the big fancy houses I see pictures of on here that make it easier to do so). I also have a personal issue with anyone walking into my imperfect home, disrupting our day, waking my husband up, etc. When I rented the place, I asked if there was intent to sell (because we've had it happen before) and we were told no, not to the manager's knowledge. The reason I ask is that I want to rent in peace and quiet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're dealing with all types of personalities...some people get angry/insulted no matter what happen. That type of personality isn't going to be suddenly reasonable during a real estate transaction.

 

I know a man who told someone to leave his business when the person offered to buy the business a low price. The person who made the offer then saw the business owner's son later in the day (away from the business) and approached him, apologizing if he offended the father. The son flipped out, too.

 

My feeling is the father & son (tree & apple) were the types to see insult and take offense no matter what happens. They weren't easy going people to begin with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, this is an extremely sensitive topic for me...this is going to offend lots of people... :boxing_smiley:...but this is based off my experience.

 

So, we had our house on the market about a year ago. Someone made an offer on it that was $50,000 less than what we OWE (and this was already one of the cheapest houses in our area-and we had poured 20-25,000 dollars of work into this stupid house). We flat-out told them...hey, this is what we owe...we can't do it (we were brutally honest with these people about our situation). Where would we come up with $50,000?? (you would think they would move on, right?) Oh, and they wanted our 10 year-old washing machine, too. Um, yeah. They also wasted like 4 hours of our time sitting in our dining room, pondering their decision (even tho they knew we didn't have 50 Grand and the house down the street sold for even MORE than what we were asking), while I drove around the neighborhood at 9:00 at night with 4 screaming kids in the car and used up a tank of gas.

 

So, you know exactly how much money we OWE, you know we've been unemployed for a year and you STILL keep putting in bids, wanting to tour the house AT NIGHT, concerned about a 10 yr-old washing machine and wasting our time?

 

My parents, grandparents and even in-laws said the same thing...stop and ride out the market. It's not the right time to sell property. So, we fired our realtor, took the house off the market and we have the house as rental property. We're actually making a profit from the stupid rent every month. And the rent is paying down our principle. If only I had done that sooner and not messed around trying to sell the house in a down market and been separated from my husband for a year (traumatizing our family and damaging our relationship). Stupid, stupid, stupid...

 

I don't think I'll ever buy a house again. It's just not worth it. It's not worth trying to sell it later or not being able to move when you need to move. It's also not worth the amortization (which is a scam) or the vast amount of property taxes that you have to pay for it. It's definitely not worth the thousands of dollars in realtor fees that these realtors charge to do about 8 hours of work. If you look at the Truth in Lending forms that you sign at closing, it really puts things into perspective. The buy-a-house craze is a giant scam. Oh, and you get to "finally" own it right before you go into a nursing home. Yeah, thnx.

 

Maybe someone can persuade me that I just had a bad experience...and that I'm completely wrong. I'm afraid that a lot of our generation feels the same way. None of my siblings or cousins own a house. They're permanent renters...even my sister (who's an attorney) lives in an apartment. :confused:

 

Hold on with the comments, while I put on my armor...:banghead:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When DH and I sold our house last year, we got one very low offer, which we thought was bordering on ridiculous. But we countered with a number slightly lower than our listing, just to let the potential buyers know that we weren't interested in going anywhere near as low as they wanted. We figured if they were willing to move up to our price after testing the waters, they would have a chance. But when their counter was only $500 above their initial offer, we decided that it was a waste of time to respond. In the end, we ended up selling only $1K under the listed price, so I don't think that our price was out of line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Low balling" is one way to negotiate, but plenty of folks just won't play ball if you start that way. I like to play ball when everyone is "playing fair" and not trying to take advantage. I see low balling as an attempt to profit from a seller's desperation or foolishness, so it rubs me the wrong way. Personally, I don't respond to low balls when we are selling property. I consider a low ball to be sth more than 10% below the asking price. So, offering 400k if I listed it at 450?

 

Well, that's nice for you, but I am not going to waste a couple/few hours rewriting your offer into a counteroffer when, to me, you are not serious. I have better things to do. Every counteroffer might take 2-4 hours of my time plus loads of emotional stress. It is a serious contract and I can't just change the # and make it right -- there are many other things to review. . . and every contract from every brokerage is in a different format, not to mention the many special terms people add. . . or, heaven forbid, those written from scratch. . .

 

(If the seller has priced the property too high. . . they will presumably learn that when it does not sell. At that time, you'll have another chance to make an offer at the newly listed price. I go on the assumption that a listing price is what the seller thinks is "optimistic-fair", so maybe 2-5% above what it should sell for. . . When things are really overpriced, I would not make an offer at all.)

 

Some people run around low balling like mad. They might make 10 or 20 or 50 offers on houses until they find someone desperate enough to accept a low ball. That's their right, but it does not mean that I as a seller am obligated to give them my serious attention.

 

But, most people will counter a low ball, wasting a lot of time doing so b/c folks who low ball are not generally interested in actually buying the house at a market price, but rather only at a "steal."

 

A few sellers are experienced enough to know that people who low ball are rarely serious about buying at a market price. That's me. So, if I see a low-ball, offering 20% below asking price. . . I just reject it and go on about my business.

 

There is nothing stopping you from offering a new contract with a higher offer!

 

Even though I might have simply rejected your initial offer, I would still consider a new offer. Note, however, that you will be at a disadvantage b/c the sellers are now wary of your intentions. So, I'd be much less likely to agree to a lengthy inspection period, a small earnest $$ deposit, or other terms that give the buyer more "outs" than I would have been if you'd come in at first with what I considered to be a reasonable offer. So, if you really want a house that you already offered too low on, I'd advise your new offer include a big earnest $ deposit, a fair price, and as few contingencies as possible.

 

HTH you see the other view.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

starrbuck12, I am with YOU.

 

The only way we will buy again is with 20% down, 6 months in an emergency fund, and the total payments (principle, interest, taxes, insurance) will have to be 25% of our income with a 15-year mortgage.

 

In other words, we will only own again if we win Powerball!:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No flames here. There are many times when buying does not make sense.

 

So far, we have done fairly well with buying and being able to sell again when we needed to, but that may not always be the case and we are bracing for next year as we look at selling and realizing we may not be able to sell.

 

We bought too much of a house when we moved here. I am the first to admit that. Our situation has changed since we bought this house, or maybe I should say WE have changed.....we no longer want to ever have debt on anything again and we hope that our next house will be inexpensive enough to pay off in 10 years. We currently have a 15 year loan but the payments are such that we don't have nearly the wiggle room I would like to have.

 

We hope to break even and walk away with what we put down on this house. It is a hard pill to swallow because DH has poured so much sweat and work into this house. We have put in new flooring, new bathrooms, redone the exterior, will put in new countertops, finished off the basement, etc.....most of it done by DH. We did pay for a new roof and new heat pumps as we couldn't do the work ourselves on that.

 

Home ownership is often more work than it is worth and it is a gamble you take when you purchase for sure. There is no way to predict the market.

 

Dawn

 

Unfortunately, this is an extremely sensitive topic for me...this is going to offend lots of people... :boxing_smiley:...but this is based off my experience.

 

So, we had our house on the market about a year ago. Someone made an offer on it that was $50,000 less than what we OWE (and this was already one of the cheapest houses in our area-and we had poured 20-25,000 dollars of work into this stupid house). We flat-out told them...hey, this is what we owe...we can't do it (we were brutally honest with these people about our situation). Where would we come up with $50,000?? (you would think they would move on, right?) Oh, and they wanted our 10 year-old washing machine, too. Um, yeah. They also wasted like 4 hours of our time sitting in our dining room, pondering their decision (even tho they knew we didn't have 50 Grand and the house down the street sold for even MORE than what we were asking), while I drove around the neighborhood at 9:00 at night with 4 screaming kids in the car and used up a tank of gas.

 

So, you know exactly how much money we OWE, you know we've been unemployed for a year and you STILL keep putting in bids, wanting to tour the house AT NIGHT, concerned about a 10 yr-old washing machine and wasting our time?

 

My parents, grandparents and even in-laws said the same thing...stop and ride out the market. It's not the right time to sell property. So, we fired our realtor, took the house off the market and we have the house as rental property. We're actually making a profit from the stupid rent every month. And the rent is paying down our principle. If only I had done that sooner and not messed around trying to sell the house in a down market and been separated from my husband for a year (traumatizing our family and damaging our relationship). Stupid, stupid, stupid...

 

I don't think I'll ever buy a house again. It's just not worth it. It's not worth trying to sell it later or not being able to move when you need to move. It's also not worth the amortization (which is a scam) or the vast amount of property taxes that you have to pay for it. It's definitely not worth the thousands of dollars in realtor fees that these realtors charge to do about 8 hours of work. If you look at the Truth in Lending forms that you sign at closing, it really puts things into perspective. The buy-a-house craze is a giant scam. Oh, and you get to "finally" own it right before you go into a nursing home. Yeah, thnx.

 

Maybe someone can persuade me that I just had a bad experience...and that I'm completely wrong. I'm afraid that a lot of our generation feels the same way. None of my siblings or cousins own a house. They're permanent renters...even my sister (who's an attorney) lives in an apartment. :confused:

 

Hold on with the comments, while I put on my armor...:banghead:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear what you are saying. However, the bolded phrase is irrelevant to the buyers.

 

Hmmm....Now that's not always the case, either. When we bought our house, we talked over our offer with our realtor and the seller's. The seller's realtor said that there was no point in continuing to counter-offer because the seller had purchased another home, and had to have X amount to pay off that house. The sellers were renting the house out at the time, so they had nothing to lose by waiting for the perfect offer. We knew we wanted this house (location is perfect, even if the house isn't) and we decided that we would give the buyer what they wanted, even though it was several thousand over assessed value. Knowing that the buyer wasn't willing to budge below a certain point kept us from days or even weeks of back-and-forth hassle. (In the end, they did cover closing costs. So I guess they did budge just a tiny bit.)

 

I recognize that some folks will be desperate, and lowball offers will come in when we sell (though right now it feels more like IF we sell), and I'm prepared to laugh them off. I do understand the feeling of being insulted by the buyer, though. About 18 months after we sold our first house, the house we brought our baby dd home to, the new owners sold it. And do you know what they did to the beautiful little nursery, the room we spent HOURS and HOURS painting and decorating? They turned around and painted it bright red with black curtains! How could they?!:tongue_smilie::lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if 10 offers all come in at a crazy low ball offer and we have been on the market for a year and have no prospects we will then assume our price is ridiculously high and then discuss.

 

But as I have mentioned, this will be our 4th house sale since we got married and each and every sale has taken less than one month, so we must have some knowledge of what we are doing.

 

We do expect our next sale to take longer because we are in a different area of the country and because of the market.

 

Dawn

 

I hear what you are saying. However, the bolded phrase is irrelevant to the buyers. In this market, what one needs to sell it for and the market value can be miles apart. When my sister was a RE agent, she said that this was one of the biggest challenges she faced when advising sellers. I am not saying that this is the case with you, but it is a common pitfall.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me that when we are the seller we want to get top dollar and when we are the buyer we want to pay as little as possible. Just the nature of the beast.

 

It is funny but DH and I are opposites when we handle these type of transactions. We are in the process of getting our house ready to sell, and I think DH's expectations are a bit too high. He also doesn't really want to put more money into it before we sell. I had to explain what repairs/upgrades we were doing and how where the return in investment would come in for him to understand. Not anything major or structural, more like staging issues, landscaping, and cosmetic changes. I also think the hardest part of a realtors job is showing potential sellers comp listings. That and explaining where the flaws in a house are.....that is when sellers can get insulted and most realtors are afraid to be brutally honest and losing the listing so they let the seller have unrealistic expectations thinking that after a few months they will come around.

It would be better if feeling could be removed from the process, but impossible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me say as a buyer, it is almost impossible to know what the seller wants. Really. And it varies so much from seller to seller, that even seasoned real estate agents are struggling.

 

We have been preapproved for a loan. We have been seriously looking for a house since Christmas. We are almost desperate to buy so we can get out of our neighborhood. We have made offers on 8 houses since then. One seller was so offended by our offer $5000 below asking price that he actually removed the house from the market. We made an offer on a house Friday and after extending a counter offer, the sellers then removed it and took the house off the market. And how about the one where the seller decided that rather than take a loss he would just let the house go into foreclosure? On that one we actually offered his asking price! Then the other problem we are having is those who are buying houses to flip or rent. Here those investors are offering really low, but they are offering to pay in cash. 2 houses we offered on we actually were the higher offer, but the homeowner eventually acceoted the cash offer even though it was less (one offer was $10K less than ours but I guess cash always trumps a mortgage).

 

As buyers we are in a bind as well. Our lender won't alllow us a mortgage for a house that is more than assessed values. Right now in our county, the regular assessors are assessing for about 10% less than the tax assessments we are finding on line. I completely understand that sellers need to sell and have a price they want or must have. Sadly though I can't offer much more than assessed values. I don't have the cash to make up the difference. If the house has dropped in value in this economy, then I am so sorry that you may owe more than it is worth. My offer may come across as a low ball offer, but it isn't meant to be as an insulting offer. I can't tell you how many houses we have seen in the $150-$160K range that are only assessing at the $120- $130K range, or even less. My mortgage is to be not more than the assessed value. Yeah, I can buy your house at $160K, but I can't mortgage it at that price and I since I don't have an extra $30-$40K laying around my choice is to offer closer to the assessed values or not make an offer.

 

So, if a buyer is making an offer that seems low in this market - look into why they are doing it. Yes, there are a lot of investors out there right now looking for cheap properties they can flip or rent. But there are also a lot of informed, serious buyers who are offering the best they can within the parameters they have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone's house, is quite personal. It's something they've made memories in and have invested time and money into. When they sell, they need money to buy another home. It's a lot of work to sell a home, keep it in show condition, and leave when there are showings. When someone bids ridiculously low just to see if you'll bite, it's a slap in the face.

 

I absolutely understand the way you feel, but buyers simply don't care. I know it sounds heartless, but to a buyer, a house is a product, plain and simple, and it is one of dozens or hundreds of other houses for sale in the same area. If you're selling a product, you need to try to keep it in show condition. It's a colossal nuisance, but again, buyers don't care about that; it's not their problem. They don't feel that they should have to pay you for your time and trouble.

 

Personally, I wouldn't even bother to make an offer on a house that I didn't think was worth near the asking price -- and I probably wouldn't even bother to go look at it, because when I see houses that I feel are overpriced, I assume that the sellers think their homes are still worth what they were worth 3-5 years ago, and generally speaking, that's not the case. They may also think they should be repaid for all of the improvements they made to the house, even if they over-improved for their neighborhood. They may think that they should make money on the sale, or break even, even if the house isn't worth their asking price, just because they need the money. Whatever the case, I would wait it out and hope the sellers would eventually adjust their price to reflect current market conditions, or I'd simply move on to the next place.

 

Let's face it, if you were buying a house, of course you would sympathize with someone who paid $700k for their house, and it's now worth only $500k. You'd picture yourself in the same situation, and you'd feel very badly for them. You'd also feel terrible if they were selling the house because they lost their jobs and couldn't afford to make the mortgage payments any more.

 

But, no matter how much you sympathized with the sellers, you wouldn't pay $700k for a $500k house. And if you really, totally, absolutely loved that house and you needed to move quickly, you might just offer them what the house was worth, based on recent comparable sales in the area. And you wouldn't be doing it to be mean; you'd be doing it because you loved the house and wanted to take a shot at it.

 

I know there are a lot of idiots out there who make lowball offers on every house they see, just to see if they can get a steal, but sellers also need to be realistic about how much their house is really worth, not how much they think it "should" be worth, or how much they "need" it to be worth.

 

When I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought sellers should counter every offer, I should have been more specific. I'm not saying they need to go through all of the paperwork to counter with a specific number. They can direct their Realtor to tell the buyers' realtor that the offer was unacceptable, and that the buyers are welcome to present a more reasonable offer, but that you won't even consider an offer of less than a certain amount. If your home is already priced fairly, of course you don't have to accept less than it's worth, but the person making the lowball offer may truly love and want your house, and may have taken the advice of a well-meaning friend who told them to offer low and see what happens. If you reject the offer graciously, while also providing some direction as to the price you will consider, it keeps the door open to someone who may end up being a legitimate buyer.

 

But if the potential buyers want to see the house at 10pm, like in Starrbuck's case, and then start arguing over your 10 year-old washing machine, that's probably a sign that they may be a lot more trouble than they're worth, and I would definitely support rejecting that deal!

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if 10 offers all come in at a crazy low ball offer and we have been on the market for a year and have no prospects we will then assume our price is ridiculously high and then discuss.

 

But as I have mentioned, this will be our 4th house sale since we got married and each and every sale has taken less than one month, so we must have some knowledge of what we are doing.

 

We do expect our next sale to take longer because we are in a different area of the country and because of the market.

 

Dawn

 

Dawn, you are probably an exception to the rule here, because it's clear that you research the market and come up with a realistic asking price when you sell a home; your past experiences show that you know what you're doing.

 

Sadly, that's not always the case, and people let their emotions rule their pricing decisions, rather than acknowledging that it's a business decision and doing the appropriate research on comparable homes in their area before they determine their price.

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And do you know what they did to the beautiful little nursery, the room we spent HOURS and HOURS painting and decorating? They turned around and painted it bright red with black curtains! How could they?!:tongue_smilie::lol:

 

:ack2:

 

Yikes!!!

 

Although I guess it could have been worse.

 

They could have painted it black with bright red curtains... with skulls and crossbones on them... ;)

 

I'm a firm believer in that, once you sell a house, you should never, ever see it again! :tongue_smilie:

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, that may be. Honestly, we were only emotionally invested because of the work DH put into each house, but overall, we are really just looking for some sort of profit as we have bought the worst house in the best area and fixed it up. It isn't as easy to do in this part of the country as it was where we came from, and now with the market, it isn't easy there either.

 

I do hope to break even, which means our profit will go to the realtor, sigh, but I told DH that we will just have to make up the profit on our next home purchase (meaning we can get a deal on the next buy and just shrug it off this time.)

 

That is of course IF we can even sell this time around. :tongue_smilie:

 

Dawn

 

Dawn, you are probably an exception to the rule here, because it's clear that you research the market and come up with a realistic asking price when you sell a home; your past experiences show that you know what you're doing.

 

Sadly, that's not always the case, and people let their emotions rule their pricing decisions, rather than acknowledging that it's a business decision and doing the appropriate research on comparable homes in their area before they determine their price.

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, that may be. Honestly, we were only emotionally invested because of the work DH put into each house, but overall, we are really just looking for some sort of profit as we have bought the worst house in the best area and fixed it up. It isn't as easy to do in this part of the country as it was where we came from, and now with the market, it isn't easy there either.

 

I do hope to break even, which means our profit will go to the realtor, sigh, but I told DH that we will just have to make up the profit on our next home purchase (meaning we can get a deal on the next buy and just shrug it off this time.)

 

That is of course IF we can even sell this time around. :tongue_smilie:

 

Dawn

 

And this is what is wrong with the entire housing market, IMO: houses were designed to be a durable good (think: washer, dryer, refrigerator) - not something from which anyone other than the original creator made a "profit".

 

The "profiteering" of the housing market is what built this house of cards and what led to its fall.

 

 

a

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...