Special offer

How to make a successful lowball offer

Real Estate Agent with Real Broker LLC 55617-94

How to make a successful lowball offer in the Greater Madison, WI Market.

lowball n. to deliberately estimate a lower price for (a service or merchandise) than one intends to charge: to lowball the cost of a move.

Want to talk to us about your lowball offer strategy?

Making a lowball offer often has a negative connotation, but the reality is that many sellers are happy to look at any and all offers in today's market. We can offers tips & tricks on how to successfully make a lowball offer.

  • Focus on price, not emotion.
  • Find 3 homes to make an offer on.
  • Commit to buying on price.

Let us tell you why most brokers don't like lowball offers but sellers often don't mind.

Obviously Sellers that need to sell are adjusting their expectations to the market. 2 years ago sellers were used to walking away with lots of money at closing and are now breaking even and sometimes even losing money.

When a house has been on the market for 200+ days, that seller is happy to look at anything. Don't have any shame about putting a lowball offer in, believe me I don't, this is what I do for a living and I am happy to put in as many lowball offers as you want...

Because of the use of technology where you the buyers, are doing a lot of the searching online... at least the initial searching. Then this leaves us more time to work on offers. This way I will only show the 3-4 houses that you know you really like. This is makes it a very efficient process and we can move quickly through these different options.

Find the properties you like first. We are happy to open properties up for you. Give us a call 608-661-7019 and we can set up a time to go into your top 3-4 properties in your search. Do not view the property with the listing agent. Going through open houses is fine, just do not attempt to negotiate with the agent. Let them know you are using a Buyers Agent and leave our contact info and card if they want to follow up. You may loose your negotiating power and hinder our efforts to properly negotiate on your behalf.

You have the ability to do homes searches on your own www.madcitydigs.com , using our map search technology. Our website is set up to maximize your efforts to research properties. We will also set you up on an automatic email notifications system for new properties that come on the market.

There are 5 different ways you can search for a home on www.MadCitydigs.com  

If you find a house that you absolutely love that is great, it makes our job that much easier, but stay committed to the process. It severely harms your negotiating position and makes it harder for you to walk away based on price if you are set on one particular property. We are willing to go for the mat for you and make as many offers as it takes to get you the absolute best price.

The next step: Let us say you have found 3 houses that you like and we have previewed all of them together. We will begin by calling the listings agents or sellers on your behalf to determine how flexible the seller really is even before we make an offer.

Our goal is not necessarily to find the perfect house but to figure out which seller is willing to go down the most.

We will help you identify which seller this might be. We will essentially get the seller to negotiate with him/her self first. We will research and find out how much a seller has paid for the property, current market condition and comparable sold properties in the area.

We will also look at other factors such as days on the market, how many prices reductions and if a property is vacant. We have access to find out all of these items that will assist you on what to offer on the property.

The First offer: Now we will have all the information we need to make our first offer. We need to be decisive and be able to move fast so that we are the only offer and not be in competition if at all possible. We will draft an offer in a way that the seller will need to react quickly. Once we make an offer: If a listing agent is any good he/she will be contacting all the buyers that have had any interest so we need to have the seller make a decision quickly.

Make a clean and strong offer. Focus on price.

  • Quick closing.
  • Short Home Inspection.
  • 3-6% down for earnest money within 3 days.
  • Quick expiration date of offer (2-3 days max.)
  • Don't ask for a sprinkler system or random additional items.

This is where most buyers get tripped up. If the seller counters, move to the next property! **Unless the seller has countered aggressively or you are willing to go up. We will negotiate with listing agent and communicate that we will not be countering back and to find out really what the sellers bottom line is. My buyer is not going to counter back and he/she will move on. 50% of the time we will see a second counter by the seller for a lower price than their first.

Don't get attached to specific property!!

We move on to the 2nd property and begin again with same clean strong terms. If that seller counters we move onto the 3rd. We have the potential to see 3 counter offers from each of the 3 properties at one time depending on the sellers' response time for these counters. As long as one of the sellers has not accepted one of our offers we are in control of accepting the best deal. This takes diligence in terms of following binding acceptance dates and we will be with you every step of the way. When the sellers have countered our initial offer or any subsequent counter we have the freedom to move on. We can not simultaneously write three offers at the same time. Unless you the buyer want to potentially be on the hook for 3 properties. Note: Sellers can withdraw offers with a notice at anytime prior to us accepting. This may happed if they receive a better offer.

Example of Initial Email: Subject: Offer on your property:

Please find attached our offer on your property. I'll fax this offer to you as well tomorrow morning. Please note that this offer expires at 9 p.m. CST tomorrow night. My buyer likes your property but has several others to choose from as well, and if you decide not to accept his offer, or if you counter, he will most likely move on to the next property. I can assure you a fast, smooth closing and an easy transaction. If you have any questions please let me know.

The key line here was that the buyer had "several others to choose from".  

Example Email : to a listing agent

I was able to convince the buyer to try back one more time on your listing I have attached the counter offer. $560K is the highest he will go. He has made it very clear to me he has plenty other option available to make other offer on especially this is the first one he is making on offer on. He wants to see what some other sellers say on other properties before going any higher on the price. House was listed at $600K

When we make the offer, we will use a cover letter (as we do for every offer) summarizing the terms. We also typed the offer up. It might sound very basic, but you'd be surprised at how many illegible, hand-written offers we see. Offering a professional presentation goes a long way towards making the seller feel comfortable that the entire transaction will proceed smoothly. The offer will have strong terms for a property in this price range - especially with a significant earnest money deposit upon acceptance. With lowball offers, we strive to craft the "perfect offer" with just one little issue - the price! That allows us to focus our energy on negotiating the price vs. other tangible terms. Next, when we sent the offer, we put incredible pressure on the seller to accept it.

Call 608-661-7019 or email team@madcitydigs.com us anytime, we are happy to show you a little bit more about how we do this and do it for you.

Matthew Costello - Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty
The MadCityDigs Team
Bringing Buyers & Sellers Together
2601 Crossroads Dr, Suite 130
Madison, WI 53718
fax: 608-226-0824
mobile: 608-209-0019