Next to the Maytag repairman, the loneliest people are home sellers. But, while they may be very happy to see you if you’re a potential buyer, they may not be very anxious to cut you a “low ball” deal. As desperate as some of them might be, they might just as soon let their listing expire and wait as too drop their price too much. Here are some ways to approach a seller and make a low ball offer without blowing the deal.
Know the territory: Have your agent conduct a thorough comparative analysis to pinpoint the fair market value. Some markets are better suited for aggressive offers than others. Know which way the market is going and, if it’s more of a seller’s market, consider looking elsewhere.
Match your agent to the market: Agents who are not familiar with the market you are looking in may be hesitant to be too aggressive for fear of losing their commission. Agents who really know the market will know what the boundaries are for price offers, and they will also know which properties are more overlooked which may be more amenable for a low ball offer.
Justify your offer: If you just go in and throw low ball offers around, the sellers may not only get offended, they’ll think you’re not being serious. Be very specific about why you set your offer as low as you did show comps, point out property or neighborhood deficiencies, etc. If you can validate your offer, the seller may be more inclined to negotiate.
Make your offer straightforward: You need to make it easy for the seller to say yes. Eliminate contingencies, go in clean, without a home to sell, and have your loan lined up.