Sellers – What To Do With a Low-Ball Offer

Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel Realtors, Pleasanton, CA BRE#01732313

Low Ball Offers



It’s difficult, but try your best not to be insulted by the offer.


I know it’s hard!!  But buyers listen to so many ‘experts’. Economists. Friends and neighbors. National or state news reports that may be far different from your local market.  Sometimes it’s wishful thinking on their part, hoping they’ll find someone who is at the point of desperation. Sometimes it’s trial and error. And occasionally, it  may be that they are lacking buyer’s comps for the property they’re considering and don’t really understand the value of the homes in your neighborhood.


First communicate....... Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, Thank you for your offer. 


Then you ultimately have three options:


  • Reject It.
  • Accept It.
  • Or, Counter It. 


Let’s talk about what potentially happens when you choose one of these options.


Accept It. This isn’t usually the favored option if the offer is truly a low-ball offer. However, a short-selling homeowner may consider this if they’re painfully close to a trustee sale, hoping to halt the proceedings. Whether or not the offered price will fly will now be a matter for the short-selling bank to determine.  


Reject It. This sends a pretty strong message. There is nothing about this offer that you like. The buyer may be throwing things up against the wall to see what sticks. Your response very loud and clearly tells them this one doesn’t have even a glimmer of hope of coming to a meeting of the minds, at least from your point of view. If the buyer is a bottom fisher, they’ll learn pretty quickly that yours won’t be a contender. If however, they have a sincere interest in your home, they’ll learn two things 1) If they’re attached to this home but can’t afford the price tag, no matter what the market value, they’ll need to move on. 2) if they’re able to qualify for the list price, but don’t want to pay it, they’ll understand that the two of you are too far apart to make any headway. BUT, many a low-ball buyer offer has come back to the table with a better offer once this hard line has been drawn in the sand.


Counter It. If you can bring the buyer up some, and you’re open to coming down as well, the two of you may find an acceptable point of agreement.  If you’ve been on the market for awhile and have had no offers, it’s prudent to at least consider a counter. After all – if you don’t reach a mutually acceptable price and terms, then you’re no worse off than before.


Re-Bloggged 13 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gabe Sanders 08/01/2011 07:45 AM
  2. Sally English 08/01/2011 10:17 AM
  3. Lisa Ackerson 08/01/2011 10:26 AM
  4. Michael Collins 08/01/2011 10:32 AM
  5. Ruby Lee Sweeting 08/01/2011 04:39 PM
  6. Victor Zuniga 08/01/2011 04:46 PM
  7. Doug Patterson 08/01/2011 10:16 PM
  8. Linda Lipscomb 08/02/2011 12:39 AM
  9. Gene Riemenschneider 08/03/2011 12:20 PM
  10. Barbara Martino-Sliva 08/03/2011 12:25 PM
  11. David John Medendorp 08/16/2011 11:27 PM
  12. Sandy McAlpine 08/19/2011 02:02 PM
  13. Winston Heverly 08/12/2012 07:24 PM
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Home Selling
Active Rain Newbies
It's all about them (ThemThem)
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Selling Soulfully
seller advice
low ball offers

Comments 153 New Comment

Ellen Kippel
Realtor Suffern Rockland County NY 914-588-2365
Weichert Realtors

Hi Karen, All of these are good points and I agree with your thoughts.  Have a great day, Ellen

August 05, 2011 04:55 PM
Mary Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro
Top Agents Atlanta Metro

Good Posts, everyone should always counter offers, you never know what the buyer may be thinking and every day represents an opportunity to make a sale!!!!

August 16, 2011 11:30 PM
Kasey & John Boles - Jon Gosche Real Estate
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties
Jon Gosche Real Estate, Boise ID

Great blog.  The worst thing is for the agents and the sellers to get insulted and offended and emotional.  We also always tell sellers (and buyers) to counter and let the other person be the one to finally reject or else we will come to a agreement.

August 17, 2011 02:20 AM
Karen Crowson
Livermore Wine Country Homes
Alain Pinel Realtors, Pleasanton, CA

Ah, the power of Active Rain. This blog was written on 7/31, yet I'm still getting comments. I'm not sure where the blog appears that it's still finding readership, but I really appreciate that it does.

Ann #146 - I really appreciate your term "Nogotiation" . Says it all.

The sentiments expressed here really seem to confirm - no conversation leads to no deal. At least get into those conversations.  At least then there's a chance.

August 17, 2011 10:57 AM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc.

I would never turn away any offer unless it has been worked to the point of no agreement. I think it is silly to either jump or feel insulted by someone that is shopping. We get so hung up on the emotional and not the fundamentals of bringing to parties together.

January 13, 2012 07:45 PM

Karen Crowson

Livermore Wine Country Homes
Request current market trends for the Tri Valley
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