You get the call from your realtor. The time has come. Someone actually wants to buy your house. You are exited and ready to pack. But when the offer comes your happy bubble pops. The offer is too low. So what do you do?
Your first response might be to just refuse the offer, which is your right, but you might miss the opportunity to sell your house. After talking with two different realtors, I have some solid advice to offer.
1. Don’t take it personally. It is easy and natural to be insulted by a low offer. After all, this is your home, the one you spent so much loving care fixing up and living in. But in real estate, you need to separate yourself from the house you are selling. Sure, there is a possibility that the potential buyer is trying to “low ball” you to see how desperate you are to sell, but there may be other reasons the offer came in low. These other reasons may have nothing to do with how nice your home is or how much the buyer wants it.
One reason is that the buyers may be inexperienced and nervous about purchasing a home and afraid that it will require unseen repair. They may be getting poor advice from relatives and friends. The media is shouting “buyers market” from the rooftops, and the buyers may not want to feel foolish by making a high offer. Or the buyers may absolutely love your house but really can’t afford it.
2. Counter the offer. There is no harm in countering the low offer. You can counter on price, of course. You can also counter by offering a home warranty or assist that might make the higher price you are asking more feasible for the buyer. You sellers agent (realtor) should be able to help you figure out a good counter. If the buyers walk away, at least you know that you have done what you could to try and make a deal. And it also may prove that these buyers weren’t serious, saving you big headaches later if they were likely to bail right before closing or demand the moon after inspection.
3. Examine the market. Ask your realtor to take a look at recent houses that have sold or are under contract in your area. Your realtor is probably doing this already, but the information may help you take a serious look at your listing price. The market is changing, and a price that might have been right two weeks ago could be wrong now. You may find that the low offer really isn’t that far off from what other sellers are getting.
Are you currently selling you home? How has the experience been for you?
Mary Ann Romans is a Senior Blogger for the Frugal Living Blog, where she blogs about saving money and resources. She welcomes all comments. Click here to see more of her articles.