Home Selling in 76712>Question Details

Reasonable S…, Home Seller in 76712

we have a house listed and has pretty decent traffic (4-6 showings a week). We received 2 low ball offers 1 was 40k below and the second was 20k

Asked by Reasonable Seller, 76712 Mon Apr 12, 2010

below. Both agents agree that you can't get this house on this land for the low offers their clients are making and that the comps support the list price. My question is why the low offers? Could it be that the home is vacant empty? (We recently hired a stager) Thanks for your insight into the Waco market. We do not live in Waco but the house is here. The home is not a distressed sale just because it is vacant.
Thanks again

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First, you don't say what you're priced at. If you're priced at $500,000, those aren't really lowball offers. If you're priced at $250,000, then most people would say they are.

Still, really, that doesn't matter. The question is: What's your home worth? Let's assume for the moment that your home is reasonably priced and that even the agents for the "lowballs" say the comps support your list price. (Parenthetically, I don't think much of those agents. They should be representing the interests of their clients, not apologizing for the low offers or saying that your pricing--and not their clients' offers--are justified.)

So, why the low offers? Could be lots of reasons: Maybe the offers were at the top end of what the buyers could afford. Maybe the buyers didn't like your home that much, but would be willing to buy it if they could get a substantial discount. Maybe they assumed that it was a distress sale because the home was vacant. Maybe they've heard about all those great bargains out there, and just figured they'd make a low offer and see if they could get a great deal.

Did you ask the two buyers' agents what was motivating their buyers? If so, what did they say? If not, why not?

It does sound like you're getting pretty good traffic. But how long as the house been on the market? If it's only a couple of weeks, it's not time to worry yet. If it's been a couple of months, then you've got a real problem. (Lots of showings but no offers--or only very low offers--means that your home is priced OK but something is turning off potential buyers when they get there.)

Staging is almost always a good idea. You might also look into "virtual staging." See http://www.VirtualStagingSolutions3D.com for example.

But talk to your Realtor and have him/her get feedback from the agents whose clients made the low offers. Also have your Realtor talk to the other agents who've been by for their feedback. And if your home has been on the market for a month or more, have your Realtor do another CMA to make sure that your listing price is still competitive.

Hope that helps.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
You didn't mention how long your home has been on the market-or where your price point is. Sometimes an investor will come in at a low price, especially if it's been on the market a long time. As for the $20K under list price, I wouldn't necessarily consider that a lowball offer! Are you working with a Realtor? If so, perhaps you need to discuss with your Realtor whether or not this is worth countering. The buyers may, or may not be giving you their final offer at this point. I've seen plenty of deals come together that started out a lot further apart than $20K!

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.MarciaLevine.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
No one has mentioned the age of the home and how "dated" the interior may be. Bringing a 1960's to mid-80's home up to date takes a good deal of money. No one has mentioned the possibility of foundation issues either. Again, $$ to make repairs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 5, 2013
One other thing: I'd strongly caution you from taking advice from people who aren't actively working in the Waco and Woodway markets. I'm sure they mean well, but as you know, our area is very unique and following the "general, conventional" wisdom may not serve you well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
I would argue against staging. I sell MANY vacant homes and often advise clients that this is the best way to proceed. You can't ignore the following realities:

1) Comparable sales are a good indication of what your home may be worth in an appraisal, but they don't account for what a buyer may be able to purchase at this moment for the same money.

2) You should have priced your home in anticipation of low ball offers given the market conditions. Failure to do so is a question of strategy. Is your agent well suited to speak to this question?

3) Where and how is the home being advertised? Exposure leads to showings, which lead to offers, which lead to a sale. If you're underexposed, the low ball offers may be the best that you'll see.

4) Are you realistic? Again, comparable sales may be an indication towards the value of your home, but they're hardly a guarantee. Is there something that makes your home more or less desirable than the homes that did sell?

If you can address these issues, ensure that your agent has a solid marketing plan, and they're aggressive; then just be patient. A good offer will come.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
In this market price is everything. The fact that you are getting the traffic means the price is competitive for the market. I have low ball offers on lots of listings and that is just something that happens from time to time. A vacant property is often times causing undue financial stress on the owner so I am certain the "low ballers" thought they would go for it and see if you would bite.

I have listed many vacant homes in the Austin area and staging makes a huge difference. You do not have to do anything major either. For example: Put a picture on the fire place mantel with some candles. In a large empty family room place a small end table with a lamp and possibly some pillows. In the bathrooms put a small vase with some tasteful plastic flowers. Little things like this can literally transform an essentially empty home.

I have an inventory of old furniture that I have picked up on craigslist that I use for my clients vacant listings and it works wonders. You do not have to go crazy when staging your vacant home. Just adding some little touches that give the appearance of a home environment will make a wold of difference.

Try it, it works! Best of luck to you as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 19, 2010
1. Everyone wants a deal
2. Lots of news telling everyone it is a buyers market
3. They want to see how far you can move
4. Some people have accepted lower offers
5. Could be because it is vacant....
6. Keep the lawn mowed, landscaping nice, driveup nice.
7. If no one is in it, make sure it gets cleaned occasionally.
7+. Keep power on.
8. Leave the comps in the house. Circle the ones you think are relevant.
9. Counter even the low offers....we often have low bids come to list price.
10. Send your comps back with your counter offers.
Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
A buyer is typically unaware of the Motivation level of the Seller. Thus, it's not unusual to test this by making a low offer. If the property is truly priced correctly for the Current Market conditions in Waco then it's reasonable to expect stronger offers to follow. In any event most buyers will expect to negotiate some on price. Even though the offers may have been low it's a good sign that you've had buyers that made the offers. Best of luck in reaching an agreement with a future buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
Hi there, I advise my sellers to respond with a counter to try to pull up an offer to a more acceptable range. Remember that it isn't where you begin, but where you end that is important. Hiring a stager is a good idea, we've had many homes that have not successfully sold, sell fast after staging. Appealing to the senses of a buyer is important and that is what staging does by pleasing the eye.

Good luck, to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
Today's Buyers are reading all the bad news and are afraid they will pay too much. No one wants to be that guy! Your agent needs to counter those "lowball" offers with all the reasons the property is well worth the money - surround their price objection with benefits. If they can't afford it, they shouldn't have been looking at it, but many agents think the price will come down.

Web Reference: http://TellEllen.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
Over saturation of homes on the market, foreclosures drive prices down and a bunch of different scenarios may drive prices down. Reality is we are in tough times. Some areas may be experiencing tougher than normal downward pressures. The price that someone will offer to pay is the price you can expect. If you need to sell and thats the price - it doesnt matter what your realtor says - its the offered price. Usually, the offer that can get through closing is the one you should roll with - if you dont get a better offer and you dont need to sell - WAIT it out. Renting is an option - wait a year or two and see what happens.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
Right now buyers are seeing all the gloom and doom stories on the news and think they can get a home for half the list price. They are not being realistic with offers. Waco, and Texas in general is not having the problems the rest of the country is. We didn't have a big run-up in prices, so we are not seeing the crash Florida and California are.
The staging is a great idea and will be money well spent. Studys show a staged home sells quicker and for more than an empty one. And use the feedback from all those showing to fix what is turning buyers off.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
Ask your agent to do a market analysis for your area. Sometimes a vacant home makes a buyer think you have to sell so, they low ball. Another thing you could do is leave a few dishes in the dishwasher and non perishable items in the fridge. Make it look as if someone is there. I hope this helps
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
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