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How to Handle a Low Offer

How to Handle a Low Offer

It is a pretty amazing feeling for home sellers when the offers start coming in. However, that excitement can quickly be shrouded by a low-ball offer or an offer that is far lower than your asking price. But, once you get over the initial shock and that slightly insulting feeling, you’ve got to make a decision.

Do you counter the offer and try to get to a price point that is more reasonable? Do you refuse to acknowledge it and have your real estate agent turn the prospective buyer away for submitting such a ridiculous offer? Before you make any decision on a low-ball offer, consider these three things:


1. Is it really too low to consider?

As shocking as a low-ball offer can be, it also can be a bit of a reality check. What seller doesn’t want buyers competing for their home, which can result in a sales price that exceeds the asking price? Unfortunately, that is not a reality for everyone, even during the busiest seller’s markets. So, when a low-ball offer comes in, try to put it into perspective. Is the offer simply lower than the price you were hoping to get for your home? If you’re asking $150,000 for your home, an offer of $145,000 probably doesn’t qualify as a low-ball offer. With that being said, you don’t have to accept any offer. But, an offer that is only slightly lower than your asking price is still one worth considering, even if you decide to counter.


2. Are you asking too much?

If a low-ball offer is your only offer or you receive a series of offers that just don’t measure up to your asking price, it may be time to take another hard look at your listing. Setting the right price for your home is crucial to selling when you’re first on the market. At the time you decide to list, your real estate agent should complete a comparative market analysis to make sure your asking price is reasonable, based on other similar homes that have recently sold or are currently listed. If you set your own price, you may let your emotional attachment to your home or your knowledge of all the money and work you’ve put into your home set a price that puts you right out of the market. If you’re finding that you’re only receiving low-ball offers, you may need to reset the price of your home, so that it is more competitive. In this case, just know that you may also prolong your home sale.  This is also when working with your real estate agent and relying on their expertise comes in handy!


3. Is there something that might sweeten the deal?

When it comes to your decision to consider a low-ball offer on your home, it may help to consider a few other factors of the sales process. If you’re selling and buying a new home at the same time, it may benefit you to entertain a low-ball offer, so that you can move according to your own schedule. If the low-ball offer comes with little to no contingencies, it may also be worth considering. Finally, if a low-ball offer is accompanied by loan pre approval, you may also be looking at a smoother closing process. Don’t simply consider the low offer alone, but look at what other factors may contribute to your sale before you turn any offer away.


Though a low-ball offer on your home may not be an ideal offer, you should know that it may not be as bad—or as low—as it seems. Before you simply ignore an offer that doesn’t seem as sweet as you’d like and close the door on a potential home sale, consider a few factors first.