How to Respond to a Lowball Offer

Lost and Confused Signpost

Lost and Confused Signpost

You’ve gotten your Guelph home ready for sale. You’ve done all of the legwork and preparation. It’s finally “out there” and an offer is in. Hooray! Until you hear the price being offered. It’s a lowball offer. What do you do? 

First, keep your emotions in check – and hopefully your Guelph Realtor is doing his or her job and keeping you focused and calm when something like this happens, rather than adding fuel to the fire. I have seen the latter happen many times, and it’s not the hallmark of a professional Realtor. Our job is to provide guidance and reassurance, not to rise to the level of our clients’ frustrations and natural emotions. After all, a key benefit to hiring a Realtor is that you’ve got someone who is objective and can help you stay objective.

When I’ve encountered low offers with listings in the past, I’ve always counselled my clients not to be offended whatsoever. I look at it this way. Price aside, an offer is an offer. It means someone is interested in buying your home. That’s a good thing!

So hopefully you can resist the (very natural) urge to simply ignore the offer. Yes, sometimes this happens, but in most cases it only makes sense to counter – even if you respond back just as aggressively on price, and perhaps even you tighten up the irrevocable period to minimize the ‘waiting game’ aspect of the process. Still, at least you’re negotiating and not just letting potential deals “die.”

The thing is… during negotiations, some offers come together very easily. A buyer comes forward with a strong offer, price and conditions are good, and maybe there is a bit of negotiating on minor points but all in all it’s straightforward and really painless. Wouldn’t it be nice if all transactions were so simple? It sure would.

In reality, other scenarios exist. Some negotiations I have seen go back and forth so many times that the contract is basically illegible because of the number of changes and initials. But you know what, sometimes even those deals come together in the end and everyone is happy. It can feel a bit like a painful birth – but the end result can still be positive.

The main thing is to remember that, even though a low offer may feel like a personal affront, in reality when you are buying or selling a home you are in business mode. You may think of your home as your castle, but potential buyers likely just see it as an investment, and there is nothing wrong with that. So put pride aside and never take a lowball offer personally.

One final note and a caveat. If you’re getting more than one of these lowball offers, it may be time to re-visit your pricing strategy with your Guelph Realtor. Sometimes the offer isn’t low; the list price is actually too high.

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