“Thanks, but please tell Mr. Potential Buyer to go suck rocks!”

WHOA, HORSEY!! This blog post discusses the seller’s knee-jerk reflex when it comes to “low-ball” offers on their properties.

The first thing I will point out is that I am a Home Stager, so pricing, negotiating, or any part of the sales process is simply not within the scope of my profession. This HAS to be left up to the Professionals.

The reason I am writing this is that I run into the following situation all the time. Most recently, I had a client for whom I had provided Staging services, e-mail me just yesterday.

Their vacant century-character-home here in Edmonton, Alberta, had been sitting on the market for 90 days with no offers and very few showings. I went in at that point and Staged it for them, had new listing photos taken, and updated the listing.

Here we are now, at 23 days post-Staging, and my client receives a “low-ball” offer over this past weekend. The house is listed at $409,000. The offer she received was $370,000. She e-mails me after speaking with her Realtor® to request my opinion “off the books”.

My immediate response to her was to ask if her Realtor® is confident in the pricing. Her answer was, yes. So, I respond to her and firmly explain the reason that I cannot provide her with anything but pure market observations and soft suggestions.

I explained to her that we have to step back and take a very deep series of breaths when we receive a low offer. In the following paragraph, I will outline what I pass on to all of my clients who ask for my opinion.

North America is a huge melting-pot of very culturally diverse communities. Our population is a conglomerate of humans who lived a large part of their lives in other countries. As a seller in North America, we have to open our minds to the fact that the perfect buyer for our property may be coming to you from years of living inside a culture composed of VERY different societal norms.

For example, there are many cultures across the world in which bartering/dickering/negotiating for absolutely EVERYTHING they acquire on a daily basis is EXPECTED. It is a way of life. This even applies to things such as produce, clothing, jewellery, etc. So, when they are making a huge purchase, such as a home, they expect some negotiation as well.

There are also simply some people out there who LOVE the negotiation “game”. They literally get a high from the adrenaline-pumping back and forth of the offer/counter/offer/counter...and so on. The endorphins racing through their veins can actually be quite addictive. These can be the same type of people who regularly gamble, attend auctions, or bet on horse races.

Of course, there will always be the “bargain-hunter” who throws really low offers out there to determine which sellers are extremely motivated to sell. They will do this over and over again until they find a smoking “deal”.

No matter how you slice it, the majority of buyers are not aiming to offend the seller when submitting a low offer. They are simply feeding their adrenaline addictions, habitually following their hard-wired customs and norms, or are testing your waters.

The truth is that buyers usually only go to the trouble to submit an offer if they have decided they LOVE your property. So, most of them will play the game until you have received a satisfactory offer.

And, if in doubt, simply counter their offer to reflect you have intelligently set your listing price.

Home Staging Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - services provided by Revealing Assets - Home Staging and Decluttering Services

The client I was referring to above did just this, and ended up countering the buyer’s offers until they came up to $398,000. So, she managed to bring the buyer up by $28,000 from where they started. The property has officially SOLD!!

 

Rhonda Wilson - CCSPTM
Owner/Operator of
Revealing Assets
Home Staging and Decluttering Services
http://www.RevealingAssets.ca
RevealingAssets@shaw.ca
780-913-5589 
We transform properties into highly
sought-after products that sell in half
the time and for 7-10% more money.
Through personal experience, extensive
research and training, and a compassionate
approach, we De-clutter living/work spaces for
up-lifting and positive life changes.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Logo

Comment balloon 17 commentsRhonda Wilson • January 30 2011 03:42PM

Comments

Rhonda, you hit on some very good points here. The most important thing for sellers to remember is to try not take a "low ball offer" personally. True some buyers love the thrill of the negotiation, but in the end everyone is trying to craft a deal that works for all parties. Step out of the emotion and negotiate some thing that works!

Posted by Keisha Hosea- KASIHomes.com, Real Estate Solutions For Real People (KASI Homes ) almost 8 years ago

Thank you for stopping by, Keisha! You hit the nail on the head when you mention removing the emotion. Sellers MUST be ready to completely emotionally separate themselves from their home, and start looking at it as a product they are needing to sell.

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) almost 8 years ago

Rhonda--I think in a buyer's market a seller should not surprised at any offer.  A "low-ball" offer may be just what your client experienced--someone feeling out wher ethe seller is but still willing to buy the house for a "decent" price.  I think sellers and buyers often have the same issues--what is the correct value for a home in a still declining market.  Think you handled it well--and very nice staging. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Rhonda, low-ball offers are just part of the business. A lot of people are operating with the mind set that sellers are desperate to sell, and that they will throw an offer in just to see how "desperate" they really are.  The seller always has the option of countering with a number very close (or the same as) the original asking price. If it goes, then it goes, but for any deal to get done, a price has to be agreed upon.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 8 years ago

Thank you, Janet, for your compliments on the Staging work. And, yes, there will always be those buyers who throw low offers out there to "test the waters", see if it sticks, and attempt to get an amazing deal.

Malcolm, this is exactly what I have suggested to my seller clients, to counter with a serious number that is not far off of their asking price just to show the buyer that they are serious.

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) almost 8 years ago

Hi Rhonda - What a great persepctive to give  the seller. Instead of helping feed their indignation, you helped them find a way to sell their house. Well done!

The staging you did really makes the room - nice work!

Posted by Judy Klem, Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties (Transition Stage LLC) almost 8 years ago

Rhonda, you certainly updated the house and your staging brought an offer even if a low one, more than they had before. Sellers have to realize that they can sign back at a more comfortable level. Look what happened in your seller's case ;).

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) almost 8 years ago

Judy, thank you so much! It is always about a fresh point of view.

Janice, yes, sellers need to be prepared to participate in the negotiation game. Thank you for stopping by!

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) almost 8 years ago

Right on the money, Rhonda. You explained it very well.

Lori

Posted by Lori Hunt over 7 years ago

Thank you so much, Lori! Have a fantastic day!

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) over 7 years ago

You have a better understanding of the negotiation process than many of the realtors and sales professionals..

Posted by Shawn Swaleh about 7 years ago

Thank you Shawn! It really is too bad that people aren't more calm and open-minded. There would be so many more success stories if that were the case!

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) about 7 years ago

Rhonda, I agree with the approach you took completely.  Low-ball offers happen, its how you respond that counts. Its most likely not personal nor a reflection on the property; there are a number of factors to be considered when making and receiving an offer.  On a side note, I actually showed this property to my clients, and you did a fantastic job of staging the home.  It was very nice.  Geoff

 

Posted by Geoff Spero (Rock Point Realty) about 7 years ago

Rhonda, I agree with the approach you took completely.  Low-ball offers happen, its how you respond that counts. Its most likely not personal nor a reflection on the property; there are a number of factors to be considered when making and receiving an offer.  On a side note, I actually showed this property to my clients, and you did a fantastic job of staging the home.  It was very nice.  Geoff

 

Posted by Geoff Spero (Rock Point Realty) about 7 years ago
Funny title and sometimes the buyer does this (low ball) to feel out the seller, good thing they came to an agreement.
Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) almost 6 years ago

Geoff!!!

Can you tell I haven't been on Active Rain for a VERY long time?

I am so sorry I missed your fantastic comment on this post!

This is so very neat finding this comment after all of this time. And, I had NO idea that you had showed this property.

So, on that note... months and months later, I am thanking you sincerely for stopping by my blog!

Have a great weekend!

Rhonda

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) over 5 years ago

Peter, I am so glad you enjoyed my choice of title for this post. 

Yes, I am also very happy that an agreement was made in the end.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) over 5 years ago

Participate