Home Selling in Littleton>Question Details

Chick, Home Seller in Littleton, CO

My home is for sale at $525K and I just rec'd an offer for $50K less; what should I counter? I have some room but $50k seems a lot.

Asked by Chick, Littleton, CO Tue Feb 1, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


I'd just add one thing to this conversation.

You've got a home over 500k, stepping up into the luxury market. This market has had a very tough time selling over the last 2 years. I'd do whatever I could to make this offer work because you may not get another offer at this price, and the market has steadily declined in homes over 400k. I'm not saying hand it over to them right now but negotiate hard and then make it happen and move forward.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
All of the answers have a similar theme, that is to ask your Realtor for advice. One thing that you might ask your Realtor to do, assuming that you have listed your home with a Realtor, is to ask the agent presenting the offer some questions. It would be helpeful to you and your Realtor to see your home through the buyers eyes. What is it about your home that appeals to them and what is it about your home that they feel needs to be changed. This might help you determine the real value of you home. The buyer has been shopping and knows what alternatives are available and they may be your new best friend right now. If they are just looking for a bargin, you may not be the right fit; however, if they have constructive reasons why they are offering you less than asking price, it may be your best offer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
Are you asking Realtors online to help you negotiate your price? We don't have your address, haven't been in your home and don't know what the comps are? Maybe your home is worth $575,000 and you're letting it go way too low, maybe the Buyer is correct and your home is worth $475,000. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the home is worth, but it does take someone who works your area and knows what your home is worth today, not six months ago and not what the neighbors got last year. Your Realtor knows what you should do, hopefully you have a neighborhood specialist helping you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
Hi Chick,

The only gauge that you should use is the market value of your home. If you are willing to go a little bit below market value you will sell a little faster. We often see offers $20, $30 and even $50k below asking and are able to negotiate those into an acceptable range for both parties. Some buyers are just looking for a bargain and will move on (in which case it's OK to say goodbye) others have already chosen your home and are just trying to get the best deal possible. I hear a lot that we should "split the dfference" to which I say "how about we start at market value and negotiate something from there that works for both parties". Best of luck to you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011
Perfect time to make the agent earn his commission! (looks like they already did that a good bit by bringing you a buyer in this market) Compare what homes similar to yours have sold for and how many are in the market. The best way to think about it is "what is my competition?" Then turn it around and think like the buyer, what are his options if you can't make this work? Your first offer is usually your best, that goes double if you are carrying unnecessary costs!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 6, 2011
If your buyer has an approval , downpayment plus their own closing cost take the offer and close the deal. Interest rate inched up this past week which reduces the amount of buying power of the buyer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 6, 2011
Chick, Count your blessings and try to make the deal work, trust me you will only regret it if you fail to make the deal.

The Buyer offer you almost 91 cents on the dollar as their opening bid. Every single Seller reading this better pay attention. YOU SHOULD RESPOND TO ANY OFFER AND SPECIFCIALLY TO ANY OFFER OF 90 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR OR MORE. (Don't mean to shout but there no other way to emphasize this by using another color, or italics)

Let's get real, what were you expecting a full price offer? If you were buying would you have started higher? Ask you listing agent how many $500,000 plus homes have sold in the past 6 months and how many are currently on the market? If there's more than a 6 month supply you the Seller are in trouble.

In case any of you haven't heard, it's a buyers market, and when you go to buy you be in the same position. Regardless of the market condition's Sellers should always respond to offers even ridiculously low offers (which this is not) by instructing their agent to tell the Buyer or Buyers agents, “We are reducing the price by $1000. We want to talk with you but your offer is way too low for us to respond in good faith. We want to show you we are not hung up on our asking price and will respond with a more aggressive counter when you come up into the range of $fill int the blank$.”

In your situation I would not do this I would advise you to immediately respond by reducing your price by at least $10,000 and see what happens. With well of 20 years of experience selling real estate in different parts of the country I can assure you that 99% of the time your first offer will be your best offer. I can also swear to you I have never and I mean never seen a Seller who refused their first offer (assuming it reasonable and this is a reasonable opening offer) not regret it and ultimately sell for less.

Good Luck and do your best to make it work, in the long run you'll be happy you did.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 6, 2011
I'll address your question from an investor's perspective. While $50K might initially seem like a huge discount, it might actually not be as big of a hit as you thought. Besides factoring in the CMA and appraisal, you need to factor in the cost of your time, the cost of your peace of mind, your carrying costs (ie PITI, any maintenance costs, etc), and other options at this point. Plus, if you have a contingent offer on another property, then you need to consider the lost opportunity cost for your EMD. And the list goes on. . . .

The point is you might find that the $50K deduction taken now might be the cheaper option for you. For example, I made an offer awhile ago on a condo in FL. The seller and I were roughly $100K apart on how we valued the property; yet, I was willing to meet him halfway if he were willing to consider my terms. Plus, condos in his neighborhood were declining in value by roughly $5K per month. He rejected my offer; he still hasn't sold the property; and his property value has declined roughly $80K to $90K more since then.

Some investors (myself included) will sell a property for a 10% discount in a heartbeat if we can close that deal sooner. It's cheaper to take the hit (and less profit) now, than to wait longer and possibly take an even bigger hit. That way you can get on with your life, put that profit to work sooner, and make more money. Think of it kind of like dollar cost averaging with stocks.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
Well, I am of the opinion that you should not be the one that says NO. That means you will negotiate to the last penny. If other party says no, then things are out of your hands. So keep negotiating. Now my next suggestion for you to reflect on your pricing. All sellers want high price for their home. Is this the first offer you have received? How many days did you wait to get this? How is the market in your area? Check all answers with your agent and keep negotiating.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
.Hi Chick, my advice to my sellers is to engage with every qualified buyer, remembering that it is not where you begin, but where you end that matters. The buyer is likely testing your floor - my suggestion is to respond with a counter and begin a process of advancing to a place that is acceptable to both parties. As a very good negotiator I know likes to say - actually I'm married to him ;-) - a good compromise is one in which both parties are equally disappointed. I find that those are the deals that have the best chance of making it to the closing table.

Remember - it isn't where you begin, it is where you end that matters. Good luck - do your best with any bona fide offer you receive - there is no guarantee that there will be another.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
It depends on your situation. How long do you have before you need to sell? Is this the first offer you've had and, if so, how long has your home been on the market before this offer? If you've been on the market a longer period of time and this is the first offer, then the market might be telling yout hat this offer is really where your home should be priced. Sometimes finding out what the buyer might really want or need, i.e. payment driven, you might suggest offering points for a rate buy-down - that way, they could get closer to the payment without you giving up so much in price. REmember - it's just their opening bid - it's up to your realtor to substantiate your value and negotiate that with the buyer's realtor. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
Trust your listing agent. If they are doing their job, they will suggest a counteroffer price based off of the current market value of your home and the number of offers you have received on the home, etc. They should be familiar with your neighborhood and all of the factors that determine what makes for a good sales price for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 23, 2015
This question was asked in 2011.
Today, 2015 we are in a Strong Sellers market with low inventory and higher prices, please contact me if you are interested in selling and did not accept this low ball offer, or counter it, back in 2011.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2015
My first question is " what is your motivation to sell?" SInce prices are falling in most areas of the country, are you going to be buying in another area? If so, you may take a "hit" on this sale but will be able to make it up on the buy side plus the interest rates are so much lower now. Secondly, I always feel like your first offer is your best offer so I would try to counter that offer and see what the buyer says.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
You should have a plan with your Agent. What has been selling in your price range? What else can $475,00 buy in your area? Have the sales been trending up, down or flat in the last 6 to 9 months for you area and price range? Then lastly how motivated are you to sell and what are your risks if you don't ? The short is that with out knowing all of these things no one can give you Good Advice. Talk to you Agent, he should have all the data you will need to make a educated intelligent decision. Don't forget that the home will have to appraise if the buyer is borrowing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
Say hello to my sister over there she lives really close to Platt Park. Anyway, I would have to agree with Jerry Current, you are paying a realtor good money, who you trust, whom you have faith in their expertise, and whom has your best interest. We don't know the in's and out's of your moving situatino, your motivations, your "risks" of not selling. While I am grateful for resouces like trulia, they should never replace the person you have hired.
best of luck to you, I am jealous of where you live, but too many Ruzicka's in one town wont work. LOL
Thank you Justin Ruzicka..
ps. if you have found this answer to be helpful please mark it as best answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
First, if you have a listing agent, you should consult with them as I'm sure you hired them for a reason and can hopefully have confidence they will help guide you through this process. In general, we tell our sellers not to focus on the initial offer but to keep things moving and put the ball back in the buyer's court. There are a lot of variables we don't know, but we hope you can bridge the gap and work things out. Good luck to you.
Web Reference: http://www.schumanteam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
You should talk with your real estate professional.

Did the buyers provide reasoning/justification for their offer being 50K less than asking price. If not, your real estate professional should ask if they are basing that figure on anything in particular, such as defects in the roof, siding, foundation, or if they are just throwing a number out there. That will then give you an idea of how serious that buyer really is. My clients and I always provide reasoning if we submit an offer that is far from asking. Therefore, no one is insulted and it justifies our position. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
Talk to your agent. Thay know you better than anyone on Trulia. That is why you're paying them the big bucks for their commission to give you professioal advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
This is an opinion based question, what is your favorite color. Mine is black but not sure my color will be the same as yours.

Wow, $50K is a lot of money, a heck of a lot more than what it would cost to have a professional help you. Like a Realtor. Hire a local professional and they can help make sure you don’t leave too much, if any money on the table but at the same time sell your house, which is your desired outcome. Many times you pay NOTHING unless YOU accept an offer, depending on the agent and what you decide to do. I wouldn't go to court without an attorney because I know it would cost me more in the end, like time served & I would not buy or sell without a Realtor. I realize that my opinion is biased, but it is how I feel with many years experience in the industry.
Best of luck with your offer, if you have the equity in your house, you are part of the <30% minority in the US that does.
Good luck.
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty
Tucson, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
Your listing agent is professional who can answer your question(s). Virtual answer not to your benefit. To many unknowns

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
If this is your first offer you are probably concerned. Comparable sales and current under contract properties will be your guide. You and your real estate agent should review all the properties and come to a conclusion about the offer. Rember that based the properties that sold an apprasier will come up with a value for your property. A real estate agent will know what sales an apprasier is going to use. This offer might be a good offer so make sure you do your homework.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
The price depends on what the buyer is willing to pay and if the buyer pays too much it may not appraise. You agent should be able to guide you. You do not want to lose a buyer in this market. What have similar homes sold for ?If the buyer does not buy your home will they buy a similar home for less money in your areaa? what is the competition?
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 8, 2011
take 1 day off to drive around with your agent to view 5 properties on your comp list. That will give a clear indication of your listing price (above or below your competitions). Your Listing may already padded with 5-10% over average (to make owner feel good kindna pricing from your agent). If you have to counter, suggest 1/2 way ... any thing less than that, you risk losing this buyer interest. good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011
In today's competitive housing market, buyers are well aware that properties often sell for much less than the asking price and aren't shy about making low-ball offers. Don't be offended. The first offer is often just a test to see how motivated you are to sell. My advice would be to listen to your agent and be willing to negotiate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011

There is a lot of good advise below. What I would ask is what did your broker give you for comparable homes? While the luxury market is moving now better than it was a year ago in terms of number of months of inventory, the gap between the original listing / asking price and what a home actually sold for is -43% across the MLS for the Denver Metro area. The delta of 9.5% they are asking you to take is not that bad considering this stastitic.

The advise to counter is sound, but if you let this one go and months go by without an offer, you may be asked to take another hit later on in the process. Work out a solid pricing plan with your Realtor and if you don't negotiate this offer successfully, be prepared to do it at a later point.

Good luck with you transaction.
Web Reference: http://www.georgelewman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011
I have seen alot of people turn away offers, later to regret it. My advice here is never be too hard on a buyer. A homes value is in many ways an opinion, there are rarely two exact homes. Dont get into more than one counter, buyers right now will walk away easy. Too many choices out there, you can't be too pushy.

Thats my take.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
Sometimes the best start is to meet them in the middle. And take it from there counter with what you fel comfortable with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
You do not state whether of not you have an agent representing you. If you do I suggest you have a meeting with them and review:
*Review What have recent homes sold for.
*How long did those homes stay on the market.
*What % of list price did they receive.
*What is your market for your home? Is inventory increasing or decreasing?
* What homes are pending and how do they compare to your home?
*Is your home special or does it have challenges?
* What other terms in the contract do you like and dislike?
*Get in the car with your agent and look at the homes on the market which are your competition.
With all that information a clear response should present itself to you.

Good Luck.
Web Reference: http://terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
Dear Chick,

Do you have a listing agent that can help guide you in the right direction as far as negotiating?

I would go here first and then let us know if you still need help!

HOPEFULLY you are under contract by now!! (fingers crossed)!

Brooke Hengst
Your Castle Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.brookehengst.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
Most of the Realtors answering this question will certainly tell you that it depends on the area of the country you're in, and what properties are selling for there. In my area (Littleton, NH), 10% is probably at the higher end of the range that we're seeing between sales price and listing price. But an offer by a qualified party is an offer, and it's most likely in your best interest to negotiate. I don't know if you have a Realtor involved, but remember that price isn't the only tool you have. There is time frame for contingencies & closing date, concessions on property included, etc. Good luck for the best outcome.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011

All depends what are the comps in your area. However getting an offer is a good thing. You can start negotiating and see how it goes. $50 K sounds a lot but if both buyer and seller are willing, they can meet half way. So, my suggestion is counter this offer and keep on negotiating.
Web Reference: http://www.Judysharma.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
That's a tough call, but it requires some research and if you are working with a Realtor he or she can help. You can simply do a Comparative Market Analysis on closed properties in your neighborhood, another important thing to keep in mind is every sale and situation is different if you are not in a hurry you may think differently. Simply check what sold for what around your area to compare.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
I just sold a home (contingent on the usual contingencies) and I'm looking at buying another. I would look at the alternatives available to the buyer and consider how badly I needed to sell the home. Can you afford not to negotiate seriously with a potential buyer? How easy would it be for them to find another home like yours available for a lower price? It's fine to talk about comps, but in some areas comp sales are hard to find because nothing is selling. Good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
Where is your real estate agent that you are paying to sell your house?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
I know it's hard but try to keep from becoming emotional about it. I agree with what the other Realtor mentioned that it is not where you begin but rather the ending result. I have had many experiences working with buyers where most would have thought there was no chance in reaching a mutual agreement because the spread was too far but I remained PATIENT, respectful and just focussed on the goal. In the end what seemed impossible was not. You also must be careful not to look too desperate so being patient and not pushy will give you better results in the end. Nevertheless, your agent must be in constant contact with the buyer or his/her representative to make this approach work. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
Agent Villa says: The 1st Q. to ask is, "how is my home being advertised?" The 2nd Q. is "how many people saw my home?" Make sure you received an Internet showings report, virtual tours, etc. from your agent. Then ask your agent for your recent comparables. Is your asking price in line or is the offer more in line? Now we are ready to negotiate.
Web Reference: http://www.agentvilla.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 3, 2011
I advise my sellers to look at what is currently selling to understand what fair market value may be for their home. I'm sure your agent has given you comps on what is going on in your area. You want to make sure that no matter what, your home will appraise if the buyer has a mortgage contingency. If you feel that the offer is low make a small counter offer to show that you are willing to work with the buyer. If the offer is in the ball park then make a slightly higher counter to speed up the process.

In our market (Fairfield County, CT) $500 K is not considered luxury - its about mid level. Buyers will make offers of up to 20% off list price. Colorado may have slightly different practices in terms of how offers are handled so work with your agent on this because that professional guidance is what you are paying for!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 3, 2011
What is your realtor telling you? Is this buyer well qualified? Is the offer non-contingent? Have you received other offers? Honestly, in your price range, receving an offer for $50K less isn't that surprising. Low ball? Not necessarily. What are the most recent SOLD comps for your home? In my experience, oftentimes, the first offer is usually the best offer ... counter, but do it with full knowledge. I hope your realtor has given you good advice. Julie Montgomery, RE/MAX Masters, inc., http://www.littletonhomesrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 3, 2011
In the higher priced market, buyers seem to think they can low ball everything. I'm sure your agent will run comps for you to show you what similar homes have sold for in the past three months. Many times, buyers will meet you half way. If your price is supported by comps, I would say counter back at $25k higher. If the buyer really wants the home, they will either accept or write a new offer. I think they are testing the waters with you. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
Talk to your agent. 10% off does seem a little much, but then again, I don't know what the comps are for your neighborhood, or if your house was priced competitively to begin with. What else does the offer say? Are they asking for closing costs? Are they asking for you to pay for anything else, like additional title coverage, survey, etc.? It's great that you have an offer. I say work with them.
Web Reference: http://www.sallygrenier.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
Have your realtor check what has sold within the last three months comparable to your property in your area. Your realtor would know to also counter in the upgrades you have in your home. Based on that information, then you can consider a suitable counter or not. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
This is a Question we can not answer. Ask your Realtor and then go with what you want and what your bottom line is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
There are several things to take into consideration. How long has your home been on the market? How much activity have you had? What are other properties in the area selling for and how many days on the market before getting an offer. In today's world $50K less might be a good offer and allow you to proceed with your own goals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011

A very fair question......ask your agent to review the most recent comps for similar area homes with you. This should shed some light on where you should focus your efforts.

If you have room, don't risk losing the buyer by not giving them a bite of the carrot. Some buyers look for a message with the seller's counter....your message should convey the fact that you are serious about selling and value their offer as a serious one, "without giving away the farm."

Let your agent take the lead on this but make sure the numbers are something you can live with.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
Home Seller-
Your agent will assist you with negotiating the best price for your home. The market value is what a Buyer is willing to pay, what the appraiser can appraise it for based on the the recent sales of relevant homes in your neighborhood. Remember that there are plenty of other homes that they can move on to...
The sales price of your home has nothing to do with what you "need" or want....
Best wishes...
Kimberly Ryan
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
An almost 10% reduction is quite a bit for a retail purchase. I'm going to assume the list price is based on your Realtor's recommendation. We have a pretty stable market in DC but its still a Buyers market Here. So if it were me I would suspect the Selling Agent is shooting for the stars.

I agree with Kelly Nichols below. However, I can only assume from your inquiry that there are not many offers on the table. I may further assume your home may have been on the market for a while. I only want to add that there is time value to money. Cash now is better than cash later. Also if you have lets say a 3k per month mortgage payment; you are loosing $100 every day you delay. IF my assumptions are correct , let the Buyer land on the moon....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
I am confident that your Realtor will give you quality information to guide you through this decision. The market is volatile however it is doubtful your Realtor would have guided you to price your home for an amount that much higher than what the market would most likely generate. Sometimes we do see buyers currently that offer ridiculous amounts as a result of not getting, or being willing to listen to, good advice from their Realtors. Get counsel from the professional you are paying and you will take the right action for a successful ending to this story.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
Definitely check with your realtor, run some comps, and see what the homes in your area and in similar condition are going for then make an informed decision.

Good Luck!
Chris Blasic
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011

I would recommend you talk to your Realtor. They should be able to advise you as to how to proceed.

Good Luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
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