Fending Off Lowball Offers, or . .

“How I got My Seller an Extra $10k Last Week”

Low — if not lowball — offers succeed more than they should because too often, Sellers are sitting ducks. The only one on the scene, circling like a vulture, is the would-be Buyer, who gradually wears down a desperate Seller who thinks they have no other options.

Wrong. The correct strategy is to work with the low offer, and try to bring it up. At the same time, however, it’s crucial that the Agent representing the Seller (Listing Agent) continues to push hard on other fronts, to attract other Buyers.

That’s what I did last week. First, I sent my favorite photographer to take some new, flattering shots. Then, to re-attract the market’s attention, I advised my client to cancel the listing and bring it back on as new, without changing the price.

That’s a common strategy to make sure that a listing that has fallen to the bottom of the heap after perhaps 40-60 days on the market gets put back at the top (in this case, the home had been on 43 days, but most of that was in August, which can be especially slow).

Then, I re-contacted agents who’d previously shown the property.

While all this was happening, my client continued to negotiate with the would-be lowballer who, sure enough, gradually raised their offer from low to merely mediocre.

Unfortunately for them, they dragged their feet a little too long.

When the gap between Buyer and Seller and had dwindled to literally less than $2,500, a “White Knight” Buyer emerged with an offer $10k above the would-be lowballer’s. Annoyed with the first Buyer’s tactics, my client quickly negotiated a Purchase Agreement with the White Knight.

Moral of the story: if you really want a property, be satisfied with a modest (vs. outrageous) discount from a fair listing price. If you won’t — or can’t — you leave the door open for another Buyer who will.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.
1 Response
  1. Josh

    I had an agent in my office with a similar scenario last week. He, too, elicited another offer that was accepted. the first buyer was quite upset but the seller, nor the listing agent, were under any obligatiuon to sell it to him just because he got their first.

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