It’s only natural for home buyers to want the very best deal possible… and in some cases, that might mean making an offer well below its listing price. There is a fine line between what is a low ball offer and what is an aggressive offer.
There is a real estate myths that if you’re in a buyer’s market, you should always make a low offer. If you’re in a seller’s market or face a lot of competition, it’s almost never advisable.
Regardless, you should never make a lowball offer, you should be making an aggressive offer in any market. No one, especially the agents, want to negotiate a lowball offer can be treacherous, and there are really no right and wrong ways to handle it. Even in a buyer’s market, a lowball offer can insult the seller, and may result in the Seller passing on even responding to your offer.
How to make an aggressive offer.
Here are some general guidelines.
- Study the market. Whether its a buyer’s or seller’s market, its important to understand where there are many sellers or few sellers. The higher the price the fewer the buyers so be aware of what homes you are looking at are selling quickly or not. Location matters and be aware how that impacts homes selling times. Your agent should be able to guide you whether you can be aggressive buying a home for the price point your looking at,
- Find out the seller’s motivations. This isn’t always possible, but if you’re working with an agent, you can request that they try to find out why the seller is looking to move from the seller’s agent. If the seller’s agent is facing a lot of time pressure and needs to get the place sold ASAP, that puts you in a much better position to push for a better price.
- Make a good, strong offer. Even when you’re writing an aggressive offer, you want your offer letter as appealing and reasonable as it can be. That might mean looking for little ways to entice the Seller to negotiate the price and terms… for example, you might waive certain repairs, or shorten the contingency period. Quick Tip for a Seller’s Market: A quick close (21 days) and a seler can remain in possession for a period of time at no cost can often save you money or get a favorable counter offer.
- Remember, you can counter the counteroffer. Your first offer is highly unlikely to be accepted by the seller in a Seller’s market but may be accepted in a Buyer’s Market. You’ll probably receive a counteroffer, but remember, you can then make a counteroffer of your own. Make sure you work closely with your agent to again understand the issue with your offer when you receive a counter offer from the seller. From my experience little things that are not necessarily related to the offer price can be worked out when time is taken to understand the counter offer. Time isn’t your friend when negotiating so you should try to complete any negotiation within 72 hours if possible.
- The Listing Agent is the Key. If you have hired the right agent, he should be able to talk to the listing agent, understand the seller’s motivations, get the information on the pricing the selling agent recommended for the house versus what the Seller listed the property at. Some listing agents will sell your aggressive offer, some won’t. Some sellers are willing to look at a fair offer, some are not. Bottomline, a good listing agent knows whether an aggressive offer can be accepted. Do your homework on the Listing agent for success.
These are just a few steps to consider as you make an offer price is below “asking” or sales price.
Making an Aggressive Offer: What isn’t effective or doesn’t work
- Don’t make a lower offer just because you can’t afford to buy the house. If your aren’t qualified to buy the house and your lender hasn’t approved you for a large enough loan,the listing agent is going to believe you can;t buy the house and more often than not he is going to help you win the home and get your low offer accepted.
- Don’t assume that making a cash offer will make your lower offer more appealing. If the homes in a neighborhood you are looking to buy are selling quickly, cash won’t necessarily get you a discount unless there are other more compelling terms.
- Don’t be a Buyer who just makes low offers. The agents in your market know Buyers who are “lowballers” in the luxury market we talk and when there are few buyers looking at multi million dollar houses we know who you are.
One Last Thought
Use an aggressive offer to save you money but to win the house. An aggressive offer is more than the price. A good buyer’s agent will know how to sell your aggressive offer. More importantly make sure you chose an agent who will aggressively sell you as the best buyer in any market or price range.