Can you offer lower than the asking amount on a short sale in a great neighborhood?

Asked by Eric Fletcher, Duluth, GA Tue Jan 25, 2011

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Dave Gubler, Agent, Foothill Ranch, CA
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Of course. I would avoid an outright "lowball" offer but if after careful consideration you believe the asking price is too high then by all means make a lower offer.

Find out if the short sale was ever previously approved and if so what price was it approved for. This will give you some guidance on the position the bank has taken.
2 votes
Hyung Lee, , Duluth, GA
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Simple answer is "Yes."
Best answer would be to ask your real estate agent to conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) of the neighborhood for you and get his professional opinion on what you should offer.

If you do not have an real estate agent to guide you through, trying to successfully complete a short sale on your own will not be a Sunday picnic. Best advice is to get help from an agent with experience in buying and selling short sale properties.
1 vote
John Reinhar…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Eric -

Yes, you can offer lower than the asking price on a short sale. Now is this a pre-approved short sale or is it a Potential short sale? There is a big difference here.

John J. Reinhardt
Solid Source Realty
T 770.475.1130 Ext. 6806
1 vote
An approved short sale price is $119,900 but last unit in the same complex to sell (same square footage, etc) was on Oct. '11 at only $75K I wanted to offer $83K, they might counter, offer $85K, they might counter, and final offere at $89K all cash. Is this possible of they have no higher offers?
Flag Thu Nov 15, 2012
Joshua Jarvis, Agent, Duluth, GA
Wed Jun 8, 2011
Wow a lot of text and some bad answers (Hank - shame on you) for the simple answer of....


YES - You can offer whatever you like.
0 votes
John Sabic, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Fri Apr 29, 2011
You should be able to offer lower amount in any neighborhood but it is up to the bank to take it or counter offer.
0 votes
Becky Pettis, , Duluth, GA
Mon Jan 31, 2011
Yes you can offer lower. A short sale offer will depend on how long the house has been on the market in conjunction with the particular lender involved and what is still owed on the property. There is no magic calculation but that is why it is important to used a Certified Distressed Property Expert like myself as we have the expertise to coordinate with the lender to make the deal work.
0 votes
Mark LeMenag…, Agent, Lake Nona Orlando, FL
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Eric, you can offer anything you want. You may eevn get a contract with the seller, because the seller could care less. Wether or not you could succeed is another question.
0 votes
Lynel Adams, , Gainesville, GA
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Dear Eric~

Welcome to the world of "short sales". The rules and regs change with the subject property, the bank, the seller, and on and on...BUT, there are some great deals. I would suggest allowing your buyers agent to do the footwork for you and the research. Is it an approved Short Sale? is a great question. If you are only Pre-qualified or pre-approved for a "certain" dollar amount, then the pre-approval letter should speak for itself. Example: If the list price is 100K and you are pre-approved for 95K, then the letter is stating all you can go for is 95K. Then it is up to the seller and the bank to say will they entertain that or not.

There is no right or wrong answer, just what will make you the buyer feel good in your offer, for you and yoru family budget.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If I may be of assistance, please contact me..

Lynel Adams/Sr. Mortgage Consultant
Community Capital Bank
0 votes
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Yes you can. The offer is subject to lender approval; and the lender approval is subject to an appraisal that they will order. Base your offer on recent comparable sales and the condition of the property.
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0 votes
Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Tue Jan 25, 2011
The short sale price is often inflated by the seller to cover as much of the short as possible. If you watch the death spiral of most, you'll see that eventually it settles where it needs to be. By that time though, the occupants may have let the place go or maybe even trash it, so be careful.

Get an appraisal to see if this really is a great neighborhood - agents tend to look for business and may tell you want you want to hear. Remember as well that the nonsense involved with a short sale needs to be factored in - you may be jerked around for a long time and still not close.

There's not a one size fits all answer and lenders have little regard for convention when dealing with shorts - their single interest is in themselves. Many times, the best course is foreclosure so keep this in perspective.

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0 votes
Davide Salaf…, , Rochester, NY
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Yes, you can offer whatever you want. The seller still owns the home and has the right to negotiate. However,
they will just be glad they have an offer. I say write an offer and see what the bank approves!
For more buying and selling tips, please visit

Salafia Sold Team
0 votes
Lyle Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Tue Jan 25, 2011
You can offer anything you want. The offer must first be accepted by the seller. If accepted it goes to the lender(s) for their acceptance. The lender may accept it or come back with the higher price they will accept. Some lenders will negotiate and some will not if your price is lower than what they want. What they want often has more to do with their perception of the value of the property rather than how much money is owed on the mortgage(s). They base their opinion on value from a BPO (Broker Price Opinion) done by a real estate agent they pay to give an often quick assesment of the market value. Nationally, the average sold price on a Short Sale is 81% of non-short sale properties. However, the 19% discount includes the fact that short sales often are in poor condition needing repairs and updating.
0 votes
Gary Geer, Agent, Antioch, IL
Tue Jan 25, 2011
You can offer any amount. As a buyer you have many opportunities to buy a home in this market. If this home is the one you must have then offer your highest and best offer. If the bank does not accept your offer, at least you gave it your best shot. With a short sale, nothing is in stone. Even though a bank may have established a fixed price, this can change as the property accumulates market time.

All the best,
Gary Geer
0 votes
Julie Britta…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Hey Eric!

Yes! Absolutely. It is best to find out if the price listed is a "pre-approved" price though. If it's a "pre-approved" price, that's usually their bottom price.

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0 votes
Sally Grenier, Agent, Boulder, CO
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Ditto what Lynn says. What does your agent say? Your agent will be able to pull sold comps in the area and give you an idea of what "fair market value" is. Just because it's a short sale, doesn't mean you're going to get a screaming deal. You can offer anything you want, but the bank could reject it, or counter it depending on what the BPO says. BPO = Broker Price Opinion. Banks hire agents to do a BPO, so they know what fair market value is.

Good luck!
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0 votes
Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Tue Jan 25, 2011
Hello Eric,
Yes, it is common for buyers to offer less than the asking price on a short sale. Do keep in mind that the offer needs to be accepted both by the seller and then by his lender. Please, know that if the home is priced below market value and is located in a great neighborhood then there might be multiple offers on the property. I suggest that you work with an experienced real estate agent in your area that knows the short sale process and will work for you in your best interests. They can perform a comparative market analysis for you in that neighborhood to determine what similar homes are selling for so that you have a better idea on whether your offer is competitive.
I hope this is helpful.
Good luck!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Jan 25, 2011
You can offer any amount you like HOWEVER does not warrant that the lender approving the short sale would accept your offer. Your buyers agent should be providing you guidance on short sale process

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
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