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Lowball Offer: Getting Real with the Deal

For many homeowners, the thought of selling your home for less than what you believe it's worth is unthinkable. After all, your goal is to try to make a profit or recoup the majority of your initial investment. Unfortunately, lowball offers are often part of the home selling process. There are many instances where selling your home successfully will include accepting an offer that may not seem attractive at face value. Let's look at why buyers submit exceptionally low offers and when it may be beneficial for you to accept such a price when selling your home.

Why Buyers Submit Lowball Offers

When selling your home, entertaining multiple offers is a good problem to have. While the highest two or three offers will seem the most attractive, most homeowners will see the lowest offers as unattractive. Some will even consider any offer well-below asking price insulting. If we think a "lowball" offer is 20 to 50 percent lower than the listed asking price, it's no surprise why you would scoff at such a small amount when selling your home.

Why do buyers submit lowball offers? In many instances, it's likely a negotiation tactic that a buyer may assume will eventually lead to an accepted price that is still lower than asking price, ultimately helping them save money. Some men and women may submit a lowball offer on a home in a buyer's market hoping, hoping that they find a seller motivated enough to accept.

Lowball offers may present themselves when selling your home, and some may be better than they seem. Although most real estate agents will recommend avoiding lowball offers, many experienced and knowledgeable agents know how to spot a lowball offer that's a great deal.

When to Accept a Lowball Offer When Selling Your Home

Accepting a lowball offer may be unthinkable when selling your home, but in reality, there are many reasons why it's wise. When is it wise to accept a lowball offer when selling your home?

  • When the buyer offers other incentives. A low offer does not necessarily mean a low-value offer. Many buyers will compensate for a lower-than-listed offer by waiving contingencies, agreeing to a short sale, or by paying in cash. If you believe that these incentives can help you reach your real estate goals, it may be wise to accept this as the "better" deal than a slightly higher offer.

  • You need to move out of your current home ASAP. Relocating for work, moving before the school year starts, and having already closed on a new home are three of the many reasons why you may need to sell your home as soon as possible. If no other credible offers are received as swiftly as you need, you may find it advantageous to accept a lowball offer so you can move forward with your immediate plans.

  • Your offer is way too high. Whether your real estate agent is out of touch with the market, if your home needs significant improvements, or if your house is priced too high, your asking price may seem just as "insulting" as a lowball offer. A good agent will encourage you to accept a lower-than-asking price for a fair offer by a qualified buyer.

  • The offer isn't "lowball" at all. When faced with a lowball offer, you must first ask whether you're genuinely being "lowballed." Ten percent below the asking price may seem low, but in a buyer's market, it may be a fair offer that falls in line with other low offers.

While lowball offers may seem unattractive, they may be essential in successfully selling your home. When setting a price for your home, ask your real estate agent which lower-than-priced offers are acceptable to consider.

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