Learning from the Low-ball Offer

Baseball catcherIs a low-ball offer a good chance to see things with fresh eyes?

The low-ball offer is hardly uncommon, especially with the number of all-cash “let’s make a deal” buyers who feel that a “bad news economy” gives them purchasing leverage in any market. Now, obviously you have an obligation to present all offers. And yes, your seller might be insulted at first, but a low-ball offer is a good time to reflect on the listing, your buyer, and possibly see things with fresh eyes.

Here are a handful of things to consider:

1. What’s your seller’s position? Are they facing foreclosure? Are they facing other personal or professional deadlines?

2. Are there any cosmetic or physical reasons the listing might be encouraging low-ball offers? Is this a wake-up call?

3. How close do you think the offer is to a likely appraisal? Will the appraisal strengthen or weaken your negotiating position?

4. Do you think the buyer is legitimately open to negotiation, or is this a “see if it sticks” pitch? Are they serious buyers?

5. Are there recent comps which suggest this “low-ball” isn’t as low as it seems? How confident are you of the pricing?

6. Finally (and most importantly): Is this low-ball offer a great opportunity to have a difficult conversation with your seller regarding any/all the above issues?

Photo credit: VarsityLife

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