Jessica, Home Buyer in 19330

Would this be too low-ball of an offer?

Asked by Jessica, 19330 Sun Oct 30, 2011

We are looking at a house that is currently at 192,900. It was 235,000 when it first when on market. Zillow has the home value listed at 177,000. We are thinking of offering 180,000. Would this be too low ball - the house is in good condition.

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Alan Openshaw, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Southampton, PA
Mon Oct 31, 2011
Hello Jessica,

You and your Realtor are the only people that have seen that house. Non of us here can givr you a suggestion on what it is worth sight unseen. Zillow is a computer generated model that is sometimes accurate and sometimes not. You should be talking with your Realtor about what to offer. $15,000 below asking price in this market is not crazy but I don't know all the facts and I am not a Realtor. Ask the Realtor to show you similar properties that have sold in the last six months ( which is what an appraiser will use).
Do not go into the deal expecting to deal with the seller's Realtor. While there are some Realtors that can handle both sides of the transaction effectively it because a balancing act when issues arise and there is no guarantee that your interest can be protected. Give Eric Axelson a call. I have worked with hinm and he will treat you well.

Best Regards,
Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending
Southampton Pa
267 992 7276
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Zillow is an interesting tool, but not a reliable one to base an offer on. Reading over their page you'll see that they have a estimated reliability. In Philadelphia, only 78% of their Zestimates are within 20% of the actual selling price. In some areas it's even less. That means the home could be worth $141,000 to $212,000. Zestimates don’t factor in condition, upgrades, deferred maintenance or variations from county records.
Your offer should be based on the research done by your agent and your interest in the home. Whether a "low ball" offer is the right strategy or not depends on many factors. What do they owe on the home? Would that offer put them into a short sale?
Talk to your own agent about how you should proceed and come up with a strategy that makes sense.
0 votes
Faith LaRosse, Agent, Wyomissing, PA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Sometimes extremely low offers may send the message to the seller that you aren't necessarily a serious buyer. While you may believe that the seller will simply counter your offer; sometimes it angers/offends the seller to the point that they completely distance themselves from the offer completely.

Faith LaRosse
Keller Williams Realtty Berks
5001 Perkiomen Ave
Exeter PA
Cell:610 996-3195
Office: 610 406-9800
0 votes
R. Eric Axel…, Agent, Sewell, NJ
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Hi Jessica, congratulations on finding a home you like that is in good condition!

The Zillow value (they call it a Zestimate) is not always accurate in my opinion, although it has gotten better in recent years. That said, I agree with my collegaue Gina below. In this economy/market, I feel $180,000 is a good starting off point. I do not feel it will be taken as an insult by the Seller. Most importantly, make sure you choose an agent that is effective in negotiating the best price for you. I have much experience in getting my clients the price they want. I can hold firm without jeopardizing the deal. I have ways of presenting your offer in the best light so that the Listing Agent is more likely to advise their client to play ball with you.

Are you working with a Realtor? If not, I would certainly advise you have representation, either by a Realtor or an attorney or both, so that your best interests are protected. It shouldn't cost you a thing as the Seller usually pays the Realtor commission.

If you will allow me to, I would be happy to "pull comps" and give you a range I feel the home is worth. I am available all day Monday to work on your case if you like. Just call or email in the morning with the address or MLS number.

Eric Axelson, Associate Broker
Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty
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Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Hi Jessica,

You should not base your offer on list price or Zillow's value. If it happens to be a short sale, the list price may be way below market value just to generate an offer - which if below market value, will NOT be accepted by the short sale lender. Have your Realtor do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) using SOLD comps within a 1 mile radius of the property (the closer, the better) that have SOLD within the last 3-6 months. This will give you current market value and that is what you should base your offer on.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Actually, that offer might not be low enough--depending upon the current market value.
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Gina Stango, Agent, Exton, PA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Hi Jessica,
This would definitely be a great starting point. Since your offer is within a 5% range of the asking price - you are definitely within reason to present your offer.

If you have any additional questions, or would like me to connect you with one of our dedicated agents, please contact me at or 610-792-5900.

Make It A Great Day!
Gina Stango, Assistant Team Leader
Keller Williams Realty Group - Limerick
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