How low is too low in a lowball offer?

Asked by alexhortdog95, Omaha, NE Tue Dec 24, 2013

I am a veteran, and my family and I are about to start the house looking process. I do have a few dings on the credit, with the biggest being a CH7 that is about to fall off the credit in the next 40 - 50 days. That being said, I'm working with a loan officer that specializes in VA loans. I want to be able to make a non-insulting offer that is not considered lowball when I get started.

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Scott Francis, Agent, Omaha, NE
Tue Dec 24, 2013
Generallt Id say 10, 000 below asking is a lowball offer. Really based on how long house has been listed. Longer its been listed, greater chance a lower offer will work. Also I uaed to have own mortgage business and for VA on a BK7 its 2 years from the day it was discharged. I would shop around on rates and closing costs. Call Larry Alexander the owner of Great Plains Mortgage at 402-502-3599.

Scott Francis
1 vote
We have a fair number of houses in Detroit which are listed for $10, to offer $10,000 less would be to ask for a discount of 100%. Ouch.
Flag Wed Dec 25, 2013
Thank you very much! I'm trying to understand the term and what different ideas are on 'lowballing'. I wouldn't do this to try to 'steal' a home from an owner, but I would want to have the best negotiation during the process. I do want to ensure that my family and I get the best value for what we are looking for. I am trying to understand the process and don't want to go TOO low when we begin and immediately turn the seller off - but I do want to get a good deal on the home when we purchase it as well.

I appreciate you answering the question in a very informative manner. I understand that 'lowballing' isn't encouraged, but it is part of the process. I want to make sure that I don't do that when we get deep into the process.
Flag Tue Dec 24, 2013
Joseph Domino, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Dec 25, 2013
If the seller won't accept the offer it is too low.
2 votes
That's a poor answer
Flag Fri Mar 17, 2017
I love it.
Flag Wed Dec 25, 2013
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Tue Dec 24, 2013
Suggest you consult with a Realtor for making an aggressive offer.
Your agent will advise you the recent sales for comparable properties and the list-to-sell ratio for homes in the area.
Your agent will also be able to present your offer in a business-like and professional matter.
2 votes
Gwenshin, Home Buyer, Whitmore Lake, MI
Thu Feb 11, 2016
Realtors will ALWAYS discourage you from lowball offers. They will tell you that your offer will "insult" the sellers (as if it's some upper class, Southern garden party, instead of the business transaction that it is, lol). Realtors earn their living by commission, and they cannot make a big commission on a lowball offer. Greed is what caused the housing bubble and will do it again. . Screw "insulting" the seller. The worst that can happen is the seller will tell you "no".
If they're that thin-skinned where they take a low offer as a personal "insult", then maybe they should seek out therapy before trying to sell their home.
1 vote
Or maybe some "buyers'" should stick to homes that are in their price range rather than trying to get the seller to come tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket so that they can have their "dream home." And oh yeah - most of these "low-ballers" don't have 2 nickels to rub together. If you want a house, SAVE for one, the same as anyone else who owns a home does! Quit wasting everyone's time.
Flag Thu Jun 30, 2016
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Tue Dec 24, 2013
A real lowball offer is one where your know the offer is really way below what the seller is going to find acceptable.
Working with a real estate agent and listening to the advice given will help you determine an acceptable offer which will not insult the seller.
Keep in mind if you are in a seller's market don't go down this road if you want to get an accepted offer.
1 vote
Billie Atkin…, Agent, Omaha, NE
Tue Dec 24, 2013
It depends on the price of the home. If over priced than a lower offer is reasonable to do.
Most of the homes in the area sell for between 2-5% of the asking price.
A low offer on a home is usually done if the home needs updating and has deferred maintenance.
A home priced right in top condition may sell at or close to asking price.

Low offers were acceptable when the market was depressed a few years ago but the market in this area has recovered.

Give me a call or email me if you need assistance with your search.


Billie Atkinson
1 vote
Phyllis McAr…, Agent, San mateo, CA
Tue Dec 24, 2013
A couple of years ago, I complied with a buyer that insisted on low balling offers, thought it would "educate" him. BIG MISTAKE. By the time a few months went by, I had to let him go.

After working with a couple of other Agents (even someone in my office), he finally bought in early 2013, a really awful location and a real dump.

Think twice b4 you low ball any offer in this market, you may be very disappointed, frustrated, and you'll probably blame you Agent.
1 vote
Scott Francis, Agent, Omaha, NE
Tue Dec 24, 2013
Also Larry at Great Plains can go to a 580 FICO on VA if needed.

1 vote
Tim Maxwell, Agent, Omaha, NE
Tue Dec 24, 2013
Hiring a Realtor can help you with all the issues involved when buying a house. Call me and I can help walk you through the process. Tim Maxwell, 402-210-8292.
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Dec 24, 2013
How low is too low in a lowball offer?
That's like asking home much mud must be in the tea before it is undrinkable?
A low ball offer IS an insulting offer.
You can't have it both ways.
So, how do you get you dirtball offer accepted is your REAL question.
#1. You must know what community values are.
#2. You must know the ceiling
#3. You must know repair costs
#4. You may find it helpful to know the ARV.
#5. What is the sellers situation?
#6. How does list price compare with market values? Does price reflect condition?
#7. Are their other 'like kind' homes to choose from?
#8. How clean of an offer can you make. Pile on the VA contingencies...and you'll quickly realize you've been focused on price and NOT the real issues.
#9. What is the method of selling selected by the seller? (FSBO, Flat Fee, Rebator, Discounter, Realtor)
10. How do you structure a dirtball offer to be beneficial to the seller? Now that's where the skills of a pro will prove essential.
If your offer receives NO RESPONSE, and that WOULD be the results if I were the listing agent, you need a do-over with another offer containing more substance.
By the way, it's not 2009 anymore. Your strategy may be flawed.
1 vote
Extremely unprofessional, narcissistic response.
Flag Wed Mar 8, 2017
You have made a very rude response to someone's honest question. I would never work with you.
Flag Mon Oct 3, 2016
would never deal with an agent like you
Flag Mon May 23, 2016
Have to agree with Alex. It's very strange that Annette allows her feelings to get hurt over a property she does not own, has made no memories in, and only stands to profit from. She even goes so far as to implement a 'sales prevention strategy' rather than working for her client and attempting to bring the two parties together.
Flag Tue Feb 2, 2016
It was a very serious question. No need for an insulting answer. Just weighing the pros and cons. For the record, if I ever encountered a selling agent like yourself, I'd never want to deal with you, with an attitude like that.
Flag Tue Dec 24, 2013
Brian Kurtz, Agent, Dearborn, MI
Wed Dec 25, 2013
I would suggest working with an agent to do a full Market Analysis of the area you are looking to move to. Find out what the List-to-Sold price ratio is for the last 90 days. In my market, homes are selling for an average of 98% of the original list price.

Now OBVIOUSLY that doesn't mean that every home is selling for what it's listed for. What it DOES mean is that for every home that sells for 5% BELOW the list price there is one that is selling for 5% ABOVE list price.

So find out what the ratio is in your area. If it's 95% then if you were to get a home at 10% off list price you would be getting DOUBLE the discount that the typical buyer was getting. If homes are selling for 99% of list price and you get a home at 95% of list price then you are getting FIVE TIMES the discount that others are able to score.

If you want bigger discounts than what others are getting...I would worry that you are doing so just because you want to be a "super negotiator". I've run across these types in multiple scales professions. They are the type of person who has no reason for WHY they should get a hair-scorching discount other than the simple fact that they want one.
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0 votes
Paul Raiti, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Dec 24, 2013
If price is your primary concern, I suggest you pick a local agent in your area and ask them to run a report that show the oldest listings in your area, a lower offer on something thats been sitting is less insulting---But remember they are sitting for a reason.
0 votes
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