Real Estate Broker/Owner with Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843

No seller likes a lowball offer.  No listing agent likes a lowball offer.  Most buyer's agents don't like lowball offers.  Most buyers don't like to write lowball offers. 


But they do happen. 


Sometimes a buyer just gets it in their head that it's a "buyer's market", and that lowball offers are okay.  Some buyers are just looking for a counter to see what they can get. 

So...  if we get that dreaded lowball offer, what do we do?  How do we handle it?  Do we counter at full price?  Maybe counter at higher than full price?  Do we ignore the offer? 

Each situation is different and I can't give one piece of advice on how to handle it.  I can give this advice: 


Stay calm. 


If your home is priced well and we are confident it will sell near list price, stick to your guns.  We can come down a little bit on the counter and see what they do.  Most lowball offers are just an attempt to see how much we will come down. 

Don't get mad.  Don't take it personal.  Just counter. 



*  It's funny.  This blog was written a while back when it was a buyer's market in Fort Wayne.  Fast forward to today (6/24/13) and things have really changed.  

Today's real estate market is definitely a seller's market.  Inventory and homes for sale in Fort Wayne are as low as they have been in over a decade.  Low ball offers like the one I described above are less and less common.  Don't get me wrong.  They do still exist, but MOST buyers in the area are starting to see the light and understand that if they see a home they really like, odds are that they are going to pay close to list price for it.  

It's amazing to see the change, and it's welcomed by home sellers in Fort Wayne.


Posted by




Fort Wayne Realtors Jared and Amanda Christiansen with Century 21 Bradley

Amanda Christiansen is an award winning Realtor with Christiansen Group Realty.


Jared Christiansen is a business partner and in charge of marketing and taking care of things behind the scene.


Enough about us...


Tell us what you want your real estate experience to be, and we will do it YOUR way.


Buying a home in Fort Wayne? Tell us your wants and needs. Let us know how you envision your family living.  Tell us what's important to YOU, and we'll find the community and home that fits.  


Selling your home in Fort Wayne?  Our job is to make you the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. We offer our sellers professional staging, professional photography, and more internet marketing than most. 


We are committed to giving you everything we have to offer.  We are both full time agents and will work around your schedule.  Do nights and weekends work better for you?  NO PROBLEM. We are here to help YOU at YOUR convenience.


Amanda can be reached at 260-704-0843, and Jared can be reached at 260-704-0842, or you can email us at, or




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Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

CT, I should email this to one of my sellers.  They received a low-ball offer yesterday, and they took it poorly.  Ironically, the buyers were offended that the sellers ignored their offer.  Children, children, stop that!

Jun 21, 2012 12:06 PM #19
Jim Patton
Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816 - Turlock, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor.

I agree it does depend on the circumstances.  If your market is like ours here and you have multiple offers you can just reject the low ball offer.   But every market is different and we have to be the ones to lead the sellers through the process with as little emotion and as calmly as possible.  Good post.

Jun 21, 2012 12:20 PM #20
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I try to prepare the seller for a low ball offer.  I like to discuss the comps with the buyer's agent.. and then I inform the sellers that the buyer may be "testing" the seller.  We do the dance and see if it will come together or not.  I had one last year that started 40K apart and then ending up coming together and closing.. No need to get exicted.. just see where things go.

Jun 21, 2012 12:21 PM #21
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Simple rule of thumb - do your diligence. Yes, as a buyer's agent, I'd expect the agent will explain the buyer how the market is. Even after that, if the buyers want to make a low ball offer, just do it. 2 or 3 such offers means buyers are not motivated. Your time is better spent with family or other potential buyers if your pipeline is full.

As a seller's agent, just present the offer. You may be surprised sometimes that sellers may be okay with the offer.

Our job is to educate them. The clients are suppoesed to take financial decisions. Stay away from outcome - and you will see how easy it is to work with low-ball offers.

Jun 21, 2012 12:24 PM #22
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

I must tell you that although a low-ball offer can make a seller and a listing agent cringe... I have had many, many homes sold and closed over the years that started out as low-ball offers.

It's all in how you look at it.

Jun 21, 2012 12:30 PM #23
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Good advice. If you are SURE the house is priced right, remain calm, and quietly send Louie Lowballer on their way.

Jun 21, 2012 05:45 PM #24
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

when I am the buyer agent I always show them the market analysis and tell them they can offer whatever they want, that I will write it up but they should not be disappointed if the seller turns it down and if theu lose out on the house because someone else puts in a better offer.

Jun 21, 2012 08:49 PM #25
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

While it's tempting to do the red stamp (or something similar), I agree w/ your advice to remain calm and determine a better offer.  Sometimes, this may result in an actual sale.  The red stamp may sound fun, but it's a deal killer.

Jun 21, 2012 08:50 PM #26
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

I always counsel my clients to counter any offer, even a low ball one.  It is better to be engage the potential to see if they are bottom fishing or if they are realistic buyers.  Also, you can honestly tell any inquiring agent that you have an offer in hand, so if their client likes the property they need to submit something in writing asap.

As you said, stay calm... then work on the contract you have to see where it goes.

Jun 21, 2012 11:06 PM #27
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

In some cultures, it's just the way people do business, they offer lowest price they can think of, and work their way up. They even say if the price is accepted without any negotioating, it takes fun out of shopping. So, USA being a true melting pot of cultures and nations, this is something to keep in mind as well. 


Jun 22, 2012 12:02 AM #28
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I don't like them.  They are insulting, but I try and treat them wit h a little bit of respect, at least to the other agent.  When all is said and done, that buyer and seller will have carried on but the agents remain.  I think people will try to lowball at first, much to their agent's dismay, and a good strong "NO" brings the buyer back to reality.

Jun 22, 2012 12:34 AM #29
Ranjana Shreedhar
Coldwell Banker, Cupertino - Cupertino, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor (408)861-8026

Great post and I agree with your point that some folks just have a price stuck in their minds. I see it even in hot markets. Market analyses and trends do help with some but there are folks who just won't budge, as for most part, their budgets don't keep up with their desires and wants. I do my best to counsel and guide my clients in terms of the appropriate pricing, putting themselves in a seller's shoes, and alternatives to consider. In the end, if they still want to go through with the low ball offer, I speak with the listing agent and send it in with ample guidance to my clients about possible rejection. 

Jun 22, 2012 02:32 AM #30
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Anna in #29:  What you say about some cultures where it is normal to start out the "haggling" with a really low offer... I have seen it happen, as well.  It is part of who they are, and how they grew up.

Once we as agents realize that... it changes everything.  The perspective is totally different.  Those clients are not trying to "steal" anyone's property... they are just in the middle of their cultural version of "horse trading."  To them, it's just playing "Let's Make A Deal."

I think it is very much up to us as agents to share this with our sellers to insulate them from the emotions that come with them thinking they are being financially assaulted by these low-ball offers if and when they happen.

Great comment !

Jun 22, 2012 02:40 AM #31
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Christiansen, truer words have not been spoken (or written) "Don't get mad.  Don't take it personal.  Just counter."

Jun 22, 2012 03:45 AM #32
Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

Respond with a curve ball, or a spitter.

Consider any offer the opening of a door. Your job is to get everybody to walk through. 

Door open, hopefully meaningful dialogue.

If there is no realism, then move on. 

Jun 22, 2012 04:23 AM #33
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Wow everybody.  Thanks for all the great comments and suggestions.  That's what I love about AR.  So many different opinions and insights.  Thanks!! 

Jun 22, 2012 05:57 AM #34
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Jared - Much as Cynthia's idea sounds satisfying,, I think it makes good sense to stay calm and counter.
Jun 22, 2012 03:28 PM #35
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Great points, well deserving of a feature.  Congratulations and wishing you continued success. A

Jun 22, 2012 10:52 PM #36
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Jared, when I get a particularly crappy offer, I talk to my sellers before I tell them what it is. They mostly laugh at the low ones.

Jun 23, 2012 09:41 AM #37
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Thats good advice. Sellers need a good agent to remind them that the list price is solid and that there are some buyers that are just looking for a steal. Stick to the price, counter with the full price and see what happens but don't get mad.

Jun 23, 2012 02:05 PM #38
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