Home Buying in Baltimore>Question Details

Christinawil…, Home Buyer in Baltimore, MD

Is it insulting to make a 1st offer of -13% than the list price? The home is priced at $310k & has had periodic reduct's & listed

Asked by Christinawiliams, Baltimore, MD Mon Feb 14, 2011

for<350 days.TKS!

Help the community by answering this question:



You are not trying to insult the seller, correct? If you feel the home is worth closer to 13% below the asking price, then by all means, make an offer. What might help your case though, is to have your agent prepare a CMA or a brief comp report validating your position. It would be hard for the seller to argue with stats.

On the other hand, if you are in a position where this is all you can afford, then make that clear to the seller and try to pull on the heartstrings.

Good luck,

Oggi Kashi,
Paragon Real Estate Group DRE 01844627
Web Reference: http://www.oggikashi.com/
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
It depends on the situation with the property. If the property was listed with a price that is too high for the community and your realtor has provided you with comps showing that the price you are offering is within range of the values in the community then there should be no insult implied. It also depends on whether the property is listed as a short sale or foreclosure. Everything in real estate is negotiable, that includes the price of the property and the terms of the contract.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Who knows and who cares?

Who knows if it's "insulting"? One seller might be delighted to get an offer, any offer, even if it's 13% below the listing price. Another might consider any offer even a penny under the listing price insulting? You're not a mindreader. You're not the Amazing Kreskin. You don't know. So don't worry about trying to figure that out.

Who cares? Even if it IS insulting, so what? These sellers aren't going to be your life-long friends. You're not trying to establish some long-term partnership with them. It's not like in-laws, who you'll have to deal with for years. You're making them an offer. They can accept it, reject it, counter it, or ignore it. They'll be doing that based on the numbers. Please get rid of this "insulting" hang-up.

One other tip: You might be overpaying even if you offer 13% than the listing price. If it's had periodic reductions and has been listed for 350 days, we know that it's overpriced today. We just don't know how much overpriced it is. Have your Realtor perform a CMA to determine an approximate value of the property. Then pay no more than that. Probably offer less. Your Realtor can provide you with a number of strategies.

So your first step is to figure out what it's worth, in order to set a ceiling on any offers you might make. Then offer what it's worth to you. And absolutely don't worry about insulting the sellers.

Hope that helps.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
If the amount you want to offer is a price that you picked out of the sky and has no relationship to any comp or other shred of reality, then it may be frivolous, if not insulting. If you can justify your offer because you and your agent have researched the market and found comps or other justification for your offer than your offer might be a welcome dose of reality to the seller. It appears that the market has not embraced the prices that the seller has been putting forth. If the seller’s price is out of line, making an offer that is in line with the current market makes sense. If you are simply bottom fishing, the best that you can hope for is a counter offer.

In any event, if you do not make an offer you will not buy the property.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Hi Christina,

To a serious Seller NO offer should be insulting. I've had some of the lowest offers I've received be negotiated to the highest and best. In general we don't deal in percentages here (unlike some areas of the country) but going in under asking price should have some basis in market value. Ask your agent to do a full market analysis. Is the house priced realistically? Base your offer on market value +\- what the house is worth to you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
That's always the trick to negotiating a home sale isn't it? Figuring out an offer that is on the cusp of insulting, yet still in the, "negotiating" range...

The real answer to question is; That depends on what the comps say, but generally no. If you have good comps to go by, and the hosue is still overpriced, then fire away, but if you look at the comps and the house is already very aggressively priced, you'll want to make sure you are the only player before entering into a lengthy round of back & forths...If the most recent reduction just took place, and the house already seems like a good deal, you don't want to kill time and let buyer number 2 show up.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
My motto is if you don't ask it is an automatic NO. Is the house a foreclosure or short sale? If so, there is a possibility your offer could be the one they have been waiting for or they may come back with a counter offer. Like the other Realtors advised, check the State tax website http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/rp_rewrite/ to see what the appraisal was. If you are working with a Buyer's Agent, ask them to do a CMA on the house so you have a better feeling of what to offer.

True market value is what a buyer is willing to pay for a home in the market today.

Dottie Cordwell, Broker
Advance Realty Professionals, Inc.
410-744-2100 office
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011

Congratulations on making a decision of buying a home. For your question, it is not insulting to make an offer less than the listing price. It is all part of the negotiation. Never feel uncomfortable on any decisions that you make. Especially on your potential first home.

Your agent should pull all comparables in the area to show you what has been selling in the neighborhood for the last 3 months. That will give you a better understand of the market value. If you need help, let me know. The other factor is the condition of the property. Does it need work or improvements? I hope this helps.

Chi C Yan
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
An offer is an offer. Not sure why people get insulted? I always like to have my options myself....

If you dont have your heart set on it and dont mind someone else seeing the value...

Always its Market forces at play.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Well...I always educate my buyers and even ask them to be the seller for a moment and what would they do if they received an offer like that. It does not always work, but after being rejected a few times they are more understanding on how all this works from both sides.

Good Luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
It is only insulting if the the seller and the listing agent allow it to be insulting. Okay, the first reaction may be to scream - it would be natural. But don't allow the buyer or their agent to see or hear this negative reaction. Keeping all conversations positive helps facilitate good feelings and generosity from both sides. The buyer and the buyer's agent should always look at the comps in the neighborhood before writing in an offer price. Coming in between 8-10% of a drasitcally reduced price would be a more diplomatic way of opening up negotiations, if ultimately the buyer is willing to come up anyway. If the price has been reduced a number of times already, the The buyer's agent should recommend coming in less than 10% originally so the seller feels engaged. The buyer's agent can then recommend to the listing agent that the buyer is making a very good offer right off the bat, and although originally wanted to come in lower, decided to start out offering their best to show their sincerity. It is the job of the agents to come up with a strategy for negotiating any and all offers UP. It is no one's fault when a rogue buyer comes up with a bogus low offer, but humoring them by being polite is the best way to handle it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 15, 2011
It depends on how anxious the seller is ready to move on. Make sure your Realtor provide you all the compensating factors such as days on the market and why, last house sold in the neighborhood or similar like kind houses within a mile of subject property and the condition of the property. In addition, its what a seller is willing to accept and a buyer is willing to pay, called a meeting of the minds. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
If the property has been on the market a long time -You'd think the Sellers would be happy to see an offer. At least they would have something to work with. They may come back and negotiate something that could be a win-win for both sides.

Then it all depends on the Sellers also. I have seen situations where the Seller would not negotiate because the price was so low. If that happens - submit a better offer. Some Sellers feel as if you want them to GIVE their house away.

Then there are times when lowering the price that much would require them to do a short sale - which folks will avoid if possible because then the Seller gets nothing out of the deal (no money) and the bank also comes up short.

One thing you can do is have your Realtor talk with the Seller's Realtor to find out if they are flexible and if they may accept that type of offer or if you'd need to make your percentage less than 13%.

One last thing I'd like to add. Also have your Realtor ask the Seller's Realtor whether an offer has already come in (which often happens when the price drops a lot). Or if another Realtor has notified the Seller's Realtor of their intent to provide an offer - You would probably want to make your offer more appealing if you really want the house.

I wish you success in getting the home you desire.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Your Agent should provide you with all the information about the history of the house, what have other homes sold for in that area and if there is anything wrong with the house since it has been on the market for a while, you get the idea.....once you have all the information in front of you can figure out if your proposal would be an insult.
Web Reference: http://www.aniamiller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
In the current market most homes sell for 5-10% below list price, however many factors play a role in this, the comps, the length of time the house has been on the market, the neighborhood, the state the house is in, if the house is vacant or not, the numbers of foreclosures or short sales around it, etc. The best thing for you to do is get your buyers agent to pull the comps and put together a CMA. This will give you an idea of where the price of this house sits and how much negotiating room you have on the price. Just be prepare to support your offer and why with the seller. Depending on the situation, the seller may just reject it and not even counter, or they could counter. I do have to say in this market these days with a motivated seller anything is possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Hi Christina!

do you know what the neighborhood around it is going for ? Have youj pulled public record see what assessment is? Sounds like you need a good Buyer Broker to help you sort these things out. But I wouldn't consider it an insult unless it is already listed below market value and then you take the chance of losing a great house already at a great price...otherwise, no I wouldn't think it would be an insult. A house is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to sell!
Call me
Pat Cucchiella
Long and foster
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
The only risk you take is that if they are insulted is that they might not even counter it. Your offer will just go into limbo. If it has been on the market a long time then they might consider it and counter. Have you looked at the MD tax site just to get a rough idea of what it may be worth. If they have just been reappraised by the state then it is close to market value, some have not been and are high.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
It is not customary to make an offer 40K off, the sellers will more than likely always counter that offer if they counter at all. Being honest...Let me help me you...I have been doing real estate for 10 years! Call Me, 410-547-5715...thanks for sending the question!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Regardless of whether you are working with your own agent or the sellers agent, the agent is obligated to transmit the offer. Remember, if you are working with the seller's agent that person represents the seller, not you. They may not treat your offer seriously. A Buyers agent is always preferred.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
No it is not insulting to offer 13% less.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Do you have a buyers agent? If not I would recommend connecting with one. You will save money in long run because your agent will be able to complete really thorough analysis of neighborhood and possibly recommend offering 15% below price.... Best of luck to you, home ownership is a wonderful! Here is a blog i wrote the other day on Budgeting, it has a useful graph on housing costs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
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