Question Details

Bernadette, Both Buyer and Seller in Maryland

Please give me things to consider if I want to put a low offer on a property.thank you

Asked by Bernadette, Maryland Mon Sep 3, 2007

Help the community by answering this question:


The attractiveness of an offer is usually price first, then terms. If you want the best price, you need to find the seller who has a greater concern with terms. Do they need a quick sale? to coordinate a closing date? to lease back for a time period?

No offer is worth the paper it is written on unless it gets to closing. You need to provide much assurance that your contract will make it to closing. That includes sizeable earnest monies (not to be confused with down payment $), a preapproval letter that outlines your qualifications with more detail, a preapproval letter from a direct lender that the seller will recognize, and quick commitments for earnest deposites and meeting full mortgage contingencies.

Other components of the offer which will be your bargaining chips for a lower price are quick inspections, and closing dates.

When making a low offer, you will need to support it with data. You need to convince the seller that this is the best decision for him/her at this time. Support your offer with comps and a letter explaining at how you arrived at your offer.

Good Luck
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Please give me things to consider,

How important is this home to you? Are you going to be very upset if you don`t get it?

How relistic are you, if you were selling would you accept that offer?

Jen is right present the offer in person, it is really up to what type of spin your Realtor puts on it.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 3, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
How low, exactly?

Another important consideration is whether you mind much if you offend the seller. In our area, lo-balling may result in the seller refusing to sell to you at any price. So think about this carefully. I always call the listing agent first to see whether they will even look at such an offer. Often they will not, and you'll still have options open to you.

If the idea still seems appealing to you, I also recommend having a buyer's agent present this offer in person to better bolster your position.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 3, 2007
If you want to put in a low offer, all your other terms should be as clean as possible. Good financing terms, quick closing, no contingencies other than inspections. A pre-approval letter is an absolute must. You want to also put a fair amount of a deposit down so that the seller sees that you are serious. You may also want to accompany the offer with a letter that explains the reasoning behind your low price. If you are represented by an agent, ask the agent to request to submit the offer to the seller. The agent can relay to the sellers what your thinking is.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 3, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
Base your low offer on some rationale...such as you are prequalified, tough market in the area, home is in direpair. If you are wiling to walk away from the property, go ahead...the worst they can say is no. If they get mad, so be is just business, and move on.

If you are sreious however, and are not just wasting people's time, offer something within reason, discounting deficiences with the property...have some justifiable quantifiable reason such as:
1 Needs new door = -$200.00
2 Needs paint job = -$500.00
This way your offer makes sense...otherwise, why would the seller consider your offer?
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2007
Hi Mary,

You should base your offer on what the current market value of it is. In my market, if a buyer(s) submits an offer that is too low, they run the risk of completely insulting the seller and getting no response at all from them, thus never having the opportunity of entering into negotiations.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2007
Any successful offer has to be justified and have a plan to fend of objections. If you are buying a re-hab proprty for example, you take the market price of re-sales in prime condition including days on market. Then you deduct the re-hab costs including your time, then deduct your profit you want to make and any sales commissions if you are re-selling it.
So if they counter saying your offer is too low you have third party market factors and hard costs to refer to. No one can argue with that unless they want to chance the market.
So my question to you is what is your stratergy???
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 3, 2007
I can't believe there weren't more comments asking if you were sure you were making a low offer for market conditions verses the asking price. Some people will over price their home and a low offer would be necessary. So, take the advice of everyone below but make sure you don't over pay either.

Let's say it is "priced to sell" and comparable sales justify that statement. A low offer in this case might be good because they are motivated or it might be bad because they are already offering it low.

Let's say it is "priced right". How long has it been on the market? If it just came on the market and you make a low offer, don't expect to ever own that home.

Let's say it is "over priced". You don't want to insult the owner if you really want this house. Find out before making the offer, what terms the seller wants. If you are working with a buyer's agent, have the agent contact the seller's agent and say you are writing up an offer. You want to make the best presentation possible so please let me know what terms the buyer wants. The seller's agent could even have the contract completed for everything except the price. Include a letter with the offer (and have your agent present it in person) apologizing for the low amount and to please not be offended. Say you are sincere and if the seller chooses to reject your offer to at least let you know when and if things change. Persistence can get you one heck of a bargain. My father and my sister both bought some great water front property for dirt cheap but they had to wait over a year each. A simple letter, if you change your mind, give me a call was all it took.
Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
Consider the existing market, price, terms, comparables, condition and location of the property when writing an offer to the seller.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
The first and most important thing is to make sure you are represented by a local Realtor. They will guide you through the process and negotiate on your behalf.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 3, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
Dear Mary Lan,

How long has this home been listed for sale?

How motivated is the seller to really accept a contract on this property? In other words, why is the seller moving?

Is it bank-owned or a relocation? These two situations have very specific dollar amounts required.

Are you lowering the price on the property substantially plus asking for more money elsewhere in the home sale?

Every home has a price below which the seller will not sell and this needs to be considered.

Why are you offering a low price on this property? If there are reasons, tell these to the seller's agent upfront and attach a letter to the offer. Common courtesy goes a long way.

Talk with an agent in your state about this property to get geographically-specific advice about this property and get market statistics.

If you are in Virginia, e-mail with any other questions.

Keller Williams Realty, 385 Garrisonville Road, #105, Stafford, VA 22554
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 3, 2007
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer