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Tips on how to handle low-ball offers

Posted on September 9, 2010 by tim in Negotiation, Selling

If your home has been on the market for months (three to six) and the price was already reduced, you are probably beginning to wonder how much lower you can go. A potential buyer may come along and present a low-ball offer, which can be 10 percent or more below the list price and involves some sort of strategic negotiations. Before slamming the door on such an offer, review these helpful tips from Team Annett:

Don’t reject the offer right away. It is important you recognize this is a negotiation game and the buyer is serious or s/he would not have put in the bid.

Analyze your own goals and needs. How much do you need from this deal in order to move to your next home? What will be your counter offer?

Conduct a comparative analysis. Check the temperature of the marketplace. What has happened in the housing market recently to get this buyer to make this type of offer? Also, take stock of the present inventory in your neighborhood and how they are priced comparatively. It is important to recognize that your home may be priced too high compared to similar houses in your area.

Negotiate! Keep the conversation alive with the buyer for as long as you can. Do not settle right away. Always maintain open communication about your limitations with your agent; he or she is there to help you get the best price possible for your home. Remember, if the offer is too low, always counter; don’t walk away. Sometimes buyers simply want to test the waters.

Work together. Ensure the buyer’s agent and his or her clients are aware you are willing to work with them. If you have waited this long to sell your house, what are a few extra days or weeks? Keep everyone engaged in the process until your goals are met.

Offer your final counter. Make your final offer and stick with it. Keep in mind you don’t want to be so stubborn that you lose the buyer over, say $2,000.

Be patient with the process. Understand selling takes time and both parties want to meet their expectations. By taking time to work together, you can arrive at a deal that is beneficial for all involved.


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