Making A Low-Ball Bid to Buy Your Dream Home

Making a low-ball bid can be risky, but if your dream home is out of your price range, it might be your only chance of owning it. There are ways to make your low-ball bid attractive to the seller and real estate broker, not offensive. Present the offer well and sellers could be enticed to take it. Be careful though, making a bid that’s too low could be insulting to sellers. Homebuyers should take the time to come up with a solid strategy and consider how their low-ball bid could impact homebuying negotiations.

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There are three things homebuyers should know before making a low-ball bid:

1. Low-ball bids are usually more than 10 percent below the asking price of the house. A bid higher than that might require a different approach for homebuyers.

2. Sellers usually find low-ball bids on their home to be a waste of time, which means real estate brokers have to plead with them to reconsider. Understanding this dynamic can be helpful for homebuyers. Use this knowledge to make market comparisons that help both parties see the value in a lower offer.

3. Homebuyers should be prepared for a low-ball bid to cast a decidedly negative light on homebuying negotiations. If homebuyers can prove their bid is worthy, it could help them ease the tension and make a better case. For example, if homebuyers offer $80,000 for a home priced at $100,000, they have to show comparisons on other neighborhood homes that recently sold for $75,000 to get the seller to bite. However, if they offer $50,000 on a $100,000 home, the sellers have every right to be offended.

If homebuyers can get past those deterrents, they may have a shot. They can make whatever bid they want on a home, but homebuyers should be prepared to be ignored if the bid is too low.

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About Ilyce Glink

Author of 13 books, including the bestselling 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask. Writer of the nationally syndicated column, “Real Estate Matters.” Top-rated radio host in Atlanta. Writer for CBS Managing editor of the Equifax Personal Finance Blog.
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