I was talking to a group of Realtors yesterday about the market and the changes we have noticed lately, and the one thing we all agreed on is that  “low ball offers” are not successful these days. The Columbus and Harris County, Georgia area markets are improving.  No -that does not mean that prices have risen to anywhere near pre-2008 numbers, but the local market is stronger and homes are moving faster than the past few years.

Before making a low offer, there are things to consider.

Are you going to insult the seller? It may be a business deal for you but it usually is not for a seller.   This may be where they raised their children or a family home where they were raised. Do they have to sell for reasons unexpected such as job loss,  illness, or a divorce? Sellers often have emotional attachments to their homes and are deeply offended when a low offer is made. Some refuse to respond to the offer at all and will not sell to the offeree at any price!

Is it a one of a kind property? Will it be hard to find a similar property in the future? Can you live without it?

The seller may feel taken advantage of and not as agreeable to future requests or negotiations such as repairs or appointments to get in the property before closing. Items that they would consider leaving that could benefit the buyer are removed whether they need them or not. (swing sets, window treatments, refrigerator, etc)

Do you want your new home to be left clean and orderly when you take possession? Insulted sellers are angry and do not want to do anything extra for the new buyer. Such as having the yard cut one last time or a cleaning service after move out.

Real Estate transactions used to be friendly for all parties. Sellers and buyers walked away from the closing table feeling good about one another and the property in question. It is unfortunate to miss out on a pleasant transaction due to a low offer…

I am not implying that buyers should over pay for an overpriced home but one should always reflect on how they would respond to a low offer before making one!