Thanks for the Offer....But...

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Real Estate RS301772

Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, I am very pleased that you have picked my client's home out of all the other choices available in the county.  It truly is a nice piece of property.

However, after speaking with my seller, they've asked me to tell you that we just can't accept an offer that is more than $100,000 below asking price.  Just can't do it...this home is not listed at a grossly inflated price.  The sellers are How much to offer on a house?certainly willing to negotiate, but not like this.

I know the market is not the best right now, the economy is, is what it is.  But my clients aren't that desperate.

They do want to sell, but not at any cost.

The housing market here in Wayne and Pike County is considerably slower than it was last year - all of the real estate offices have seen their sales volume go down.  Some buyers see this as an opportunity to "lowball."

But, there are lowball offerss, and there are lowball offers.  Trying to get a good price is one thing...

Sellers ARE willing to negotiate.  Many sellers may be more flexible now than they were in the past.  But that doesn't mean that buyers should expect to get homes for pennies on the dollar. 

Here are a few tips for buyers:

  • Research the market before making an offer.  Ask your agent for recent sold comparables to help guage the value of the home you are going to buy against other recently sold properties.
  • Check the tax records and look for the sale history.  Chances are, unless there is a serious defect in the home, the seller probably isn't going to sell his home for less than he paid for it.  Of course there is always that possibility, but except for special circumstances, this is unlikely.
  • Only look at houses you can seriously afford to buy.  Don't get your heart set on something that is waaaay out of your price range, with the hopes of making the deal of the century.  If you only have $150,000 to spend, then don't look at homes that are nearly twice that price.


Posted by

Homes For Sale & Local Info for Pike County, Wayne County, & Lake Wallenpaupack in Northeast PA.


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Karen Rice (that's me!) lists & sells in Tanglwood, Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Hideout, Indian Rocks, Masthope, Fawn Lake, Tink Wig, Woodland Hills, Walker Lake, Hemlock Farms, & more in Pike & Wayne County.

Comments (14)

Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD

I guess people beleive everything they read.  I tell buyers that their lowball offer can really back fire on them.  If they really want the house and make an offer the seller rejects it, I think, puts the seller more in the driver's seat.

Oct 16, 2008 11:47 AM
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt

Karen, I am eating licorice and almost choked when I read $100,000!! You said it right here..

Only look at houses you can seriously afford to buy.

Oct 16, 2008 12:18 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

It's amazing how cheap people these days think they can buy a house.  Perhaps in some cities but not in Searcy ARkansas at this time.

Oct 16, 2008 12:30 PM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Karen, so did the agent apologize when they had to present that offer?  I'm sure your seller was appalled. 

Oct 16, 2008 02:15 PM
Karen Rice
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

The agent was definitely aware that this wouldn't fly, Marchel.  She handled it very well...she did her duty for her client, and I presented it to my seller.  I'm happy to say the seller handled it well, too - she did give a reasonable counter offer - but I will say that we chuckled about it first.  LOL

Jo, I nearly choked too when I heard it.  My eyebrows went up, and I resisted the urge to say "Wow, that's a terrific down payment!"  LOL

Audrey - the biggest risk in putting in SUCH a low offer is ticking the seller off completely.  I actually placed a lowball offer once (but this was not 100,000 below asking!) and the seller responded with a counter that was $30,000 higher than the list price! LOL

Barbara - I've had people say that houses are "overpriced" when they obviously have no concept of how the location dictates the price.  Yes, our prices here my seem "overpriced" when comparing them to other parts of the state or other parts of the country - but not when compared to other properties HERE. 


thanks for the comments! :)

Oct 16, 2008 02:29 PM
Thesa Chambers
West + Main - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon

ahhh - if I did not know better I would think the buyer I showed property to wrote on this home.... educating him has been an experience

Oct 16, 2008 04:27 PM
Ray Logan
Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors - Stacy Mathews - Houston, TX

WOW! I do not think that the buyers really thought that it would be excepted or maybe they hoped it wouldn't.

Oct 17, 2008 11:15 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Good post. Buyers are looking at homes priced much higher than their budget because they think they can offer less.

Oct 20, 2008 12:13 AM
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC

Hi Karen,

If your Pike/Wayne market is slowing down, I would have to guess the Lackawanna County market is slowing too. AFter all, you've showed the strongest most relisient market in NEPA over the years.  Are the NJ and NY people not relocating as much?

Oct 20, 2008 12:16 AM
Karen Rice
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Thesa, these buyers are cropping up everywhere.  They obviously haven't researched the market as much as they'd like you to believe.  Even with foreclosures, they're expecting to come in way below asking price and are shocked when the bank says - in a word - no.

Ray - I don't think so...the agent told me they've been looking for a while for a house, but I think they only want one if they can get it for a "steal."

Erica - you mean the buyers demanded that the seller buy a home warranty from THEIR agent? WOW, that's gutsy!! And no deposit ahead of time?  Wow, did they think you and your seller were born last night?

Gita - that's the thing; they think that they can get twice the home for half the money.  LOL

Diane - our market has slowed but it's still pretty stable.  Fewer people are willing to actually buy the homes, and I think it's because they're waiting for the market to tank so they can get "a great deal."  That's what one of my buyers told me last year, and several agents have said the same thing. The buyers are willing to wait.  But so are many of our sellers. 


Oct 20, 2008 12:35 AM
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Karen - I had a friend who wanted me to write up a very low offer ($200,000 off list price - home was listed at $250,000) on a Bank Owned.  I just was honest with him and I told him the situation that the bank, although unemotional, wants to minimize their loss and wouldn't accept such an offer.  That's like taking an 80% loss or something.  And that by even going there, we would be wasting not only his time, but everyone elses time.  I think your right.  Buyers need to understand that there is plenty of information out there to assess what homes are selling for in today's market and most sellers - emotional or not aren't going to sell their home for pennies on the dollar. 

I tell my buyers, especially my first time buyers, that the goal is to open up the conversation and sometimes a lowball offer can be very risky - sometimes it sends a message "I'm not serious, so don't bother wasting your time with me and to be honest even if you resubmit an offer, it's too late, you've pretty much told me either that you aren't serious or can't afford my property anyway."

Oct 20, 2008 08:34 AM
Sharon Harris
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Hanover, PA

I hear this all the time. Do you think they will accept this? Never do we hear That is a fair price. Remember the good old days with bidding wars? There is no sanity in this business is there?

Oct 21, 2008 08:47 AM
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

Part of this is a result of what they have been hearing in the media.  They are lead to believe that all homes are selling at firesale prices and that they can get the moon and the stars.  In my area the homes that are selling are perfect and are a deal...but maybe not that much of a deal.

Oct 23, 2008 12:37 AM