Peter, Home Buyer in New York, NY

What is the lowest price an agent will offer on a property?

Asked by Peter, New York, NY Fri Dec 7, 2007

Help the community by answering this question:


An agent generally does not determine the "lowest price"--the buyer does. Furthermore, unless an agent has nothing better to do and wants to practice writing offers (contracts), they "assist" the buyer in determining what a fair and reasonable offer would be. This would be based on a good comparative market analysis over past 6 months, amenities in home, condition of home, and location, location, location. By the time one is ready to write an offer, they normally have a good working relationship with their agent, and the idea of a "frivolous" offer should not be an issue. I like to think of my clients as potential friends and neighbors and long term relationships, which is a result of providing service and knowledge to my buyer. In this buyers market, I have seen some amazingly low offers get accepted--so you never really know!!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2007
A sellers agent has an obligation to present all offers to that agent for delivery to the seller.

A buyers agent may decline to write an offer, and simply refer the buyer to another agent.....essentially firing the client. If the buyer agent writes the offer, then, yes, he/she MUST deliver the offer.

I would tell a buyer to find a different agent if I believed that buyer was not serious and expressed an interest in writing ridiculous offers. There may be some agent who is willing to do that, and that is their choice.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
I disagree with Felicia. If you tell me that you demand to offer one dollar on a million dollar listing, I have every right to refuse to write, transmit or present that offer. I would base my refusal on the logic that it was a frivoulous offer, not bonafide.

On the other hand, if Felicia is willing to write, transmit and present any offer no matter how low, she is welcome to have fun with it, but please don't overstate an agents obligation to be or to look foolish.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
Hello Peter

What an interesting question, especially in this market. An agent doesn't set the price for a buyer, the buyer sets the price. So, the lowest price an agent will offer on a property is the price the buyer wants to offer.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
To clarify my earlier answer, I let go of clients who are not serious buyers.They are just "tire kickers" In NYS, You have to present all offers, so if you don't like the clients tactics, get rid of the client.
But there is always an agent out there that will present these low offers, and buyers that will try to sue an agent if the agent does not do what they want. In our area there has been an unusually high number of complaints from buyers.They were mad that agents would not present offers that were almost half of asking price.I just had such a client.I refused to waste time with him.I provided him with a market analysis to show him what homes in the area sold for, and he also had a home inspector look at the house, which the inspector said was in excellent shape, and the buyer still tried to offer half the asking price.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
If I am the listing agent and recieve an offer, yes, I do have an obligation to present this to my Seller. But no law exists that will force me to write a very low ball offer. I can just say NO! It gets down to how a Realtor/Licensee wishes to work and conduct their business. If a Realtor/Licensee sits down with a Buyer and questions them as to their desires, motivations and strategies and feel they can go forward with this buyer then so be it. If running around and presenting ridciulous low-ball offers with the idea of getting a big pay-day down the road appeals to the Realtor/Licensee then they can MAKE THAT DECISION. I for one understand the realities of the market and we've had some great threads regarding 20-40% off offers!!
I always ask Buyers if they have a certain "real estate guru" they follow. Or, "Do you watch a lot of late night TV? What ads do you like?" I think you know were I'm headed!!
We had a newbie Realtor/Agent I advised to meet with a prospective Buyer to pin him down as to his wants and strategies. She didn't do this but started immediately showing him property; she was intimidated by the price point of $1,000,000+. She just saw the BIG PAY-OFF!
Two weeks she showed him properties. He finally found one he wanted to offer on. She advised they meet at the office to put togther the offer. He said O.K. but next morning said something had come up and could she come by and pick up his offer "outline" which she could write up and fax back for his signature.
He met her outside of his home, handed her an envelope and jumped into his car shouting over his shoulder, "Write it up and fax it back to me!". She couldn't contain her excitement and as her $1,000,000 buyer sped away she eyed his "outline" for the offer. The listed price was $1,100,000, the property a historic Victorian Mansion. His offer, $400,000, no money down, owner to carry 100% for 10 years, interest only at 4%!!! Seller to credit Buyer 3% for closing costs!!!
She called him back and asked if this was a joke? He said he was very serious and if she didn't want to help him then he would find some one else! She fired him!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
Hi Peter:

I agree with both Felicia and Jim. I will present very low ball offers but not a rediculous low offer. However, the reason why a buyer would want to make an offer on a house is to actually buy a house, so it would not make any sense for a buyer to present a ridiculous low offer anyway.

On the flip side, as a buyer, you have all the right to choose a realtor who is willing to write a one dollar on a million dollar listing.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
Hi Peter,
It depends. The Realtor will do a market analysis of sold properties in the area and determine what the current selling price is, taking into consideration special features, upgrades, sq. ft., location etc.

The offer could also ask for the seller to assist with closing costs. Make a reasonable offer if you want the property, otherwise you could offend the seller and he may reject the offer anyway. As much as you want a good, deal, so does the seller. Fair is fair in any situation.

Hope this helps.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
When an agent is working with a buyer,the agent tries to help his buyer make an informed offer.Agents use criteria such as the condition of the home,and the prices of homes recently sold in the area. However, many buyers try to present lowball offers that are basically a waste of everyones time.But the agent must present all offers,even if they are low.So to answer your question,an agent will present any offer that a client wished to matter how low.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
As a licensed agent, we are required to present all offers!! If you have someone telling you they will not, find yourself another realtor. They are serving their needs not yours! That's not to say we don't have opinions about insulting a seller or embarrassing ourselves in the industry, but if you want an offer submitted we are required to present.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 20, 2008
Hi Peter,

Now you did it. You got us agents talking to ourselves!

I just want to make a quick comment on Michael's story, I was surprised the buyer didn't include "subject to the mortgage" in his offer"

See Ya,

JD “Dan” Weisenburger, GRI
Broker-Associate REALTOR®
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
You do a Comparative Market Analysis for the buyer on what is sold in the area and if there was non destressed homes in that mix . If you have more questions please email me at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
The answer to that is It is up to the buyer with the assistance of the buyers agent to come up with a offer on the property. Several factors come into play, prices in the area, what is the competition, how much is the existing mortgage, condition of the house. Seek advice from the buyers agent but it is really up to the buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2007
Its not up the agents to decide that... we have a duty to present ANY and ALL offers, and you have the right to get an answer "accept, counter offer, or a rejection"

hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2007
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