There’s a right way and a wrong way to just about everything, and that includes making a “lowball” offer on a home. If you go about it correctly, you might get the home of your dreams for a dreamy price.
Done incorrectly, and you may be singing the blues over all the great homes that got away.
Elements of the successful lowball offer
1. The right agent: Some real estate agents are more interested in getting higher commissions than in you getting a low price. These agents can complicate your deal by not being aggressive enough in going for the price range you want.
2. Have a rationale: You give a low offer, and the seller wants to know why. Be prepared to explain your reasoning. Are there amenities the house is lacking? Is the location inconvenient to preferred schools, shopping, churches, et cetera? Is the home one bedroom shy of ideal? Does it not meet the standards of other homes in the neighborhood?
3. Know the market: Your agent will help you understand what other nearby and similar homes are selling for. If you like a home in a neighborhood where everything is consistently selling for $200,000, making an offer of $85,500 isn’t lowball – it’s screwball.
4. Make it easy: When you ask that a seller accept an appropriately lower price than he or she was expecting, don’t complicate the deal. Be agreeable on as many other elements of the deal as possible. Make things easy for the seller. This means to make sure your financials are in order, and not causing the seller to wait forever while you attend to the selling of your current house.
5. Know your price: We’re talking about making a low offer, but you shouldn’t go into every deal expecting that you won’t have to come up a bit. Know your limit, but be as flexible as you can. And: don’t tell the seller that “this is my final offer and I won’t budge.” A lot of deals have been lost by playing hardball instead of lowball.
Nick and I always want our clients to get the best deal possible. When we represent buyers, our goal is to guide them through the process, ask the right questions, do the right research and advise them in their best interests.
We have no problem bringing a lowball offer to a seller, but we always want to make sure we’ve done the necessary homework and preparation. Real estate is a big purchase, and by paying attention you can save, rather than lose, many thousands of dollars.
It’s called lowball. Not screwball. (Or hardball.)
Nick & Ellie Glidewell