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How to Respond to a Lowball Offer

After all the hard work it takes to ready a home for sale, it can be so discouraging to find the first offer you get is a lowball offer. Regardless of the market,there are buyers who write offers 10%,20%,even 30%below list price. While most of these offers are just“throw-aways,”it’s still possible to turn it in to a successful sale.

Before you do anything,take a deep breath and stay calm. There are many reasons why a buyer throws out a low offer. It could be they are getting bad advice from a family member or nervous first-time buyers afraid of leaving money on the table. It’s also possible that they are working with a new or poor real estate agent. The one thing you know is that they were interested enough in your home to write an offer,and they expect to negotiate.

The next step is to send a counter offer. Be respectful and thank them for the offer. If you do have room to negotiate,then offer to reduce your price to a reasonable level. If you have priced the home well to start with,then explain how you arrived at the list price and present any available comps.

Remember to look at the other terms offered and be flexible where you can. For example,they may have asked for a longer escrow period,and you can accommodate their timetable.You may also want to ask that the home inspection is“information only”that removes the option of repairs.

A lowball offer may take the wind out of your sails,but it doesn’t mean that there is no opportunity for moving forward. Working with your agent,send a reasonable counter offer back to the buyer and you may find that there is still a successful sale down the road.

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The Real Reason Your Agent Wants You Gone During Showings

There are several good reasons for homeowners to make themselves scarce when potential buyers come to view their house. While one motivation is avoiding problematic comments,there are other benefits to giving prospective buyers space during showings.

For one,an empty home allows potential buyers to envision themselves living there.With the sellers out of the way,buyers can move freely through the rooms and picture where heir own furniture and belongings could go. An unoccupied house becomes a blank canvas for buyers to mentally customize to their own lifestyle and needs.

Leaving also allows buyers privacy to discuss their impressions and point out pros and cons to each other candidly. They may feel more comfortable critiquing elements of the home or debating if it meets their wish list when the sellers are not present. This facilitates an open dialogue between potential buyers.

Finally,an empty house also provides a neutral atmosphere for buyers to evaluate it objectively,without sellers unconsciously influencing their perspectives. Buyers can take their time forming their own opinions when touring alone,without chatting with sellers or feeling pressured in any way.

Vacant showings also enable buyers to visualize a future here,speak freely,and decide independently. These benefits make it advisable for sellers to make themselves scarce during viewings.