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Handling Lowball Offers

The home for sale has everything going for it. A good neighborhood. Curb appeal. A nicely staged interior. 

So why does it fetch a lowball offer? It can be frustrating, insulting, even. But before throwing a fit or  feeling down and out,  think.  Are there ways to work around it? 

There are. Let us show you how.

Make a counteroffer

Don’t throw in the towel.  Think things over logically instead of getting emotional. Revisit the offer and come up with a new offer.

It’s okay to provide a little allowance, but not too much. This should drive away bottom fishers and quick-buck flippers.

Lowball offers happen for many reasons, most of which are far from personal.  A buyer’s budget constraints, perhaps. Or seeing another house for sale in the same community with a lower asking price (but with less square footage). The prospective buyer may also be testing the waters. There may be no intention to step out of bounds.  

Revert to the buyer

Inform the buyer that you appreciate the offer, but you must let it pass. This could make the buyer come up with a better offer. The agent can explain that their lowball offer  doesn’t align with current market rates. Your agent can also advice the buyer to talk things out with their own agent. This may open the homebuyer’s eyes to things they never before realized. 

Look at the bigger picture

While price is important, it isn’t the most crucial factor behind a lowball offer.  As a seller, you may want a quick close because there’s a job waiting in another city. Or you yourself may have made an offer on a new house. 

Figure out how much wiggle room you have on the offer. A solid pre-approval letter from the buyer, an all-cash offer, less inspection requirements, or a higher down payment from the buyer may also make an offer below your asking price more attractive.

Revisit the selling price

Sometimes, a low-ball offer could mean the list price is too high. This is where a local professional Realtor can help. They can present a Comparative Market Analysis or comp that gives the right price for a home based on the current market. The process also lets the Realtor scout for other homes in the neighborhood that are currently listed, those that didn’t sell, and those taken off the market. 

Since the market is ever changing, a comp may have a short shelf life. So if the home has been sitting in the market for quite some time, it’s best to check recent comparables.  This is where a good agent can help a lot.

Listen

Check the buyer’s terms – when they can close, requested repair credits, their financial status, etc. These may make you, the seller, adjust your expectations.  These can even lead to lower expectations, especially if the home has stayed in the market for some time.  

Reach out to your Realtor

It’s hard to stay unemotional when selling a home filled with a lifetime of memories. A Realtor can provide the needed objectivity when it comes to weighing in on lowball offers. 

Our team at the Emmer Real Estate Group has the experience and the knowledge to do this for you if you’re selling your home in south central and southeastern Wisconsin, including the Metro Milwaukee area. Call us at 262.629.474 or 920.294.474, or email contactus(at)emmerrealestate(dotted)com.

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