I know it’s hard, but try not to take it personally. Most Buyers out there have seen the newspaper articles or heard the national TV reports about how horrible the housing market is right now. According to the news there are deals to be had everywhere and Buyers want one! The truth is the market in the Omaha Metro area isn’t awful, but Buyer’s are hoping to find that seller who is ‘desperate’ and therefore may sell their home at a very low price. Maybe they don’t understand the value of homes in your neighborhood, or they are just throwing a dollar amount out there to see if it sticks.
First…take a step back and try to see this from a Buyer’s perspective, without emotions getting in the way. Communicate. “Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Buyer for making an offer on my home.” Then take one of three approaches:
1. Accept it.
2. Reject it.
3. Counter it.
Accept it. If you’ve truly got a low-ball offer, this probably isn’t your first choice. However if you’re on the verge of a short-sale, or foreclosure and you haven’t had any offers to date this may be a good final option.
Reject it. You don’t like this offer and are not willing to accept any of the terms. This response tells the Buyer in no-nonsense terms that there is not a snowball’s chance that you will come together on this deal. If the Buyer has just thrown out a low dollar amount to see if they can ‘steal’ your home, they will quickly learn that your home is not a contender. If they have offered low because they can’t afford to go higher, then they will know that they need to move on to a lower-priced property. If they DO qualify for the list price, but don’t want to pay it, then they will learn that you are too far apart to make a deal come together. But sometimes if a Buyer truly wants the property, they will come back with another higher offer once this line has been drawn.
Counter it. You don’t like the offer, but you are willing to come down in price some and the Buyer will come up in price some and hopefully you can meet in the middle. I will always encourage you to counter a low-ball offer. You’ve had several showings with no offers and this Buyer actually liked the house enough to write an offer on it. Let’s not let this ‘live’, interested Buyer get away without at least trying to negotiate an agreement. After all, if you don’t reach a mutually acceptable price and terms you are no worse off than before.
Now bring on ANY and ALL offers!