Lowball insult (Rant)

dockside_gwSeptember 18, 2009

We have been on the market for about 30 days. The last week we have had three showings and all of them good. The last one resulted in an offer. The other two lookers (both came back a second time) were promising but one family decided to buy in the school district where they were renting and the other couple hadn't put their house on the market yet and wanted to wait until they did before making an offer (can't imagine why they came back a second time, if that's the case).

BUT, it was an insult. The buyers had previously looked at 25 houses and "liked ours the best". Yeah, right. We're listed at $429,000, a price that we feel is right in line with what has been selling around us. No foreclosures in our area. We are in a very desirable subdivision. The view from all of our rooms is fantastic (lake and mountains).

Well, the buyers came in at $375,000. No house, with our amenities and view and our size, has sold for less than $425,000. We figured that they are going around making low-ball offers and so far haven't found anyone that desparate. Well, we counted with $414,000 and told our agent that that was the lowest, we weren't going to waste time negotiating with someone who wasn't in obvious good faith. Sure enough, our agent called this morning and said they wouldn't consider it. They are going to low-ball another house in our subdivision (the buyer's agent is in her office) without a view. That house is listed at $399,000. Views are very important in this area. I'll bet the buyers offer $350,000, if that.

I know which house it is. I sure hope the sellers refuse to be insulted, also. By selling for less than their house is worth, they bring down the value of the rest of the houses in the subdivision.

We were so relieved as we were going to do whatever we could to get out of selling to these particular buyers if they met our counter offer. Things like refusing to pay for any problems encountered, etc. So, now it's back to finding a good buyer.

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375 on a house listed at 429 isn't an insult. This is a buyers market. Pretty much every offer you are going to get will be significantly less than you are hoping for. If you want to sell, you'll need a strategy for negotiating that initial offer up to an acceptable compromise.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 2:16PM
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I don't see why it'd be considered an insult either. It is indeed a buyer's market. If you're selling a house, it's a business proposition, and any offer can be entertained or dismissed. Don't waste your energy by taking a lower-than-acceptable offer personally, or by trying to second-guess what buyers are going around doing if they aren't dealing with you. Good luck in getting the offer you seek!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 3:35PM
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In our area, it is an insult. All homes that have sold in the last 6 months in our area are selling at 92 to 98% of the list price. We don't have to sell. So, we're not going to give it to someone who thinks things here are like they are where they came from (Texas). I think they will probably look at a lot more houses before they realize they have to pay market value. At least I hope so. Can't imagine why their agent is continuing to stick with them.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 3:35PM
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No offer is an insult. You can counter, you can reject. Your market may be doing well, but in many places, buyers see houses go on the market for one price, then lower the asking prices by tens, thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

These buyers are looking for someone who MUST sell, and their method will either work for them, or they'll have to reconsider their method. But they are not bad people.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 4:41PM
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"In our area, it is an insult."

No, it is business.

I would suggest getting over it and countering with a 24 hour deadline.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 5:17PM
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You can't take this process personally or you will drive yourself crazy. It is a business transaction. It is completely reasonable for the potential buyer to try to pay as little as they can. And it is completely reasonable for you to try to get as much as you can. How much they can afford and how much they want the house will determine how much they move, and how much you want to and need to sell will determine how much you will move. If they want you to move on price and you won't, then no deal. They move on and you wait for the right buyer. But don't take it as an insult, it's not personal, it's business.

12% off list is not a ridiculous offer. Maybe you don't need to sell at that, but they might find someone who will.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 6:54PM
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I have to concur with so many of the responses....

You can voluntarily CHOOSE to interpret the buyer's offer as an offense if you desire.... HOWEVER,

A) 12% below ask is in no way a statement of insult (and why would any buyer bother "insulting" a seller anyway... I can't think of a transaction that ever occured by somebody offending somebody else.)

B) Although YOU may feel your price is very rationally chosen (and you may or may not be right,) there are TONS of sellers who have emotionally pulled their selling price out of some ancient point in time ("ancient" is defined as 6 months or longer in today's real estate markets.)

C) All real estate markets have a "range" of pricing that an identical class of homes in an identically located neighborhood would CURRENTLY sell for... it can stretch as much as 20% from high to low (and the less activity is happening, the wider the band of variance.) The buyers are naturally looking at the LOW end of that variance.... you HAVE to understand & accept the fact they are, and always will be.

Its getting late in "the moving season" for the premium real estate sales... fewer & fewer buyers are going to be shopping now that school is already starting (since the families with kids will not now have time to relocate their kids into new school districts.)

Its clear you would "go down with the ship" if you were indeed motivated to sell, as you have no intention of coming down in price much (if at all.) That means you *MUST* simply sit & wait until "just the right buyer" shows up, or the real estate markets get a flame under their butts again (which still may be a good while yet.)

If you truly have no urgency to sell, I suggest tipping your hat back a little, taking a deep breath, and relaxing! Pour yourself a nice tall glass of your favorite elixer, and enjoy the encroaching autumn.

Enjoy! Peace!
Dave Donhoff
Leverage Planner

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 7:24PM
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In my area 88% of list would be an "insult" (actually I do not feel any offer is insulting - someone liked my house enough to make an offer, it is the schleps that do not offer anything that are insulting me by indicating my house is not "good enough" for them ;-) ), I'd counter back at what is reasonable for my area (95% or more of a reasonable list), they'd say "no" or "yes" and that would be it.

Everyone on this forum always assumes "It is a buyer's market." My area is not (and I say it over and over on these forums); I live in a seller's market. My area briefly slipped to neutral last winter but it is back to seller's market as of April. Sales were up 10% last month over August 2008 and prices were up 5%. So, while many areas are buyer's markets, by no means are all areas buyer's markets.

Dockside why are you on the market if "you do not have to be"? Heck, even in seller's market I would not be listed with all the hassles and aggravation unless I truly needed to be. If you plan on going forward divorce yourself from the house. It is extremely difficult to do but will take a lot of frustration out of the process for you. You'll look at all offers as "business" because that is what this is... a business transaction. Stop thinking of the house you own as your home and think of it as "the property". It will help.

Best wishes

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 8:05PM
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If the buyers attached a letter explaining their price by saying that your house was so hideously ugly and poorly decorated that they needed to spend tens of thousands of dollars making it livable, then I'd say it was an insulting offer.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 8:58PM
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"In our area, it is an insult. All homes that have sold in the last 6 months in our area are selling at 92 to 98% of the list price."

Maybe it's not an insult, but someone trying to buy a house at a price range they are willing to pay based on their personal way of bidding and past experience?
Notice I said "range", every offer is a "good" offer to be explored. Do not dispair, this might be the buyer from CA, FL, AZ or NV on a fishing expedition, who does not know your market, but has to buy and loves your home the best from the 50 they have seen.
Counter your best and final and see where the chips fall.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 9:03PM
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Dockside; most of us here have gotten what we may consider a low ball offer. You did what you had to do with countering, they did not accept your counter and will move on.

You can look at it this way, you were not the one to deal with them.

Yes, it's possible house #2 will play ball with them, unfortunately, that will bring your price down and the domino will have begun.

I feel that selling in this market is not something I want to do again any time soon.

As Dave said, there usually is only so many buyers; some areas are seasonal. Ask your agent if they know how many active buyers there are in your area.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 7:58AM
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At 88% of list, I too would have considered it lowball. Where at 90% I wouldn't....amazing what two percentage points can do for one's perspective. Insult or not, you did the right thing in countering and trying to work with them. If they can't meet your price, then they'll move on and hopefully you'll find someone that will meet your price.

You really can't fault someone for trying to find a deal, which is what your buyers are doing. I think it's a phenomenom in this buyers market that even if a home is already priced "right" buyers still want to feel like they're getting a deal and throw out low offers. It's up to you to determine if you want to play ball with them or not. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 8:16AM
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If you want to sell the home, then divorce yourself of your attachment to it as a home and view it as a house and the transaction as a business deal. You've only been up for sale for 30 days and already have an offer. There's plenty of people that have been up for 6 months and had litle interest and no offers. If you don't "need" to sell, then pull the house off of the market to avoid any more insults to your tender feelings about your "home". Oterwise, get tough, because you're in for the slowest selling season of all and may not get any more offers before spring.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 9:24AM
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I don't think it is wise to tell them you are firm for your first counter. You didn't even give them a chance to come up , and I am sure they would have.

Try to compare countering back and forth to bouncing a ball. Even a small counter keeps it bouncing. You don't want to stop it from bouncing unless you have acceptance. The longer it bounces, the more chance you all come to terms. Even if tiny bounces.

I bet your buyers would have come up quite a bit if you didn't stop them by saying you were firm.

You feel they are unreasonable, but I bet they feel the same about your firm counter which came down to approx 97.5% of asking as "final".

You said homes are selling for 92-98% of asking. So you are in the high range by sticking at approx 97.5% of asking and saying you are firm on that.

I bet you could have sold to them for 92% of asking or more, but lost that opportunity by saying you are firm.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 1:49PM
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Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "insult" as I didn't take it personally. DH and I didn't want to waste time going back and forth when they had already seen 25 other houses. It was obvious that they were looking for someone desparate to sell and we felt that, if they were serious, they would take our lowest (which it is). We were at first thinking of countering with $425,000 but felt, why bother? Their realtor told our agent that they were lowballing on all offers. Well, good luck to them. This isn't Texas.

Anyway, we are going to build. Have a lot and when we sell, will use our equity to build. So, we aren't rushed. We wouldn't be moving at all except DH's health precludes him from taking care of the landscaping like he used to. Otherwise, I'd be content to stay here.

Thanks for the comments. I'll remember them when/if we get another offer. Yes, it is a business decision. That's why we have a bottom number.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 9:28PM
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our bottom number is 96.50% of our list price, not 97.50%. One percent is another 4300, which would buy a lot of stuff for the new house.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 9:30PM
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I've never understood the thinking that a "low" offer is an insult. It's a low offer - just that - nothing more. The seller can take it or leave it or negotiate. I can understand it could be a waste of the sellers time but not an insult.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 12:35AM
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Dockside ~

You said that homes have sold in your neighborhood for 92% of the asking price. That would make your home come in at $394,680.00. I realize that you said your would be willing to sell for 96.5% of the asking. Hopefully, some day, you will get that. The prospective buyers offering $375K isn't that far off. You want $413,985 as your bottom line.

I haven't checked to see where you live but I do think it was good advice for you to take the home off the market unless you live in an area that sells strongly all year long. Here is Missouri the kids went back to school about three weeks ago and not much of anything will move around here until after March. I did see a lovely home, in our subdivision, go up for sale a few days ago so they must realize that those that sell during the fall and winter don't get as much action. Maybe they will get their price.

Good luck with your plans. I hope that your new home will be one that you love and is easy to take care of.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 6:02AM
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"This isn't Texas."

Well, excuuuse me!

(Was that an insult?
Was it *meant* as an insult?
Was it a worse insult than making a low offer on a house?
I'm pretty sure it wasn't a business decision.)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 11:27AM
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"This isn't Texas."

sylviatexas-Well, excuuuse me!

(Was that an insult?
Was it *meant* as an insult?
Was it a worse insult than making a low offer on a house?
I'm pretty sure it wasn't a business decision.)

I'm wondering if the OP was just pointing out how reasonable the price of housing in Texas is compared to other states.

My cousins just moved to Texas from Arizona. They bought a 4 bd/2.5 bath house in Dallas for $165k. The house they sold (Phx) was 3 bd/2 bath, 10 yrs older, and had a tiny yard. Both houses are in big cities, in similar types of neighborhoods, and are in the same condition.
Phoenix is supposed to be going through a housing crash yet the AZ house sold for $275k.

Go figure.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 1:24PM
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I don't get the "this isn't Texas" comments either. I can't see that those comments had anything to do with affordable housing in Texas, as they seemed to be a derisive way of implying that buyers typically pay "lowballed" prices in my state. I have no idea how the OP would have reached such a mistaken conclusion.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 2:36PM
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Texas has a wide range of market conditions. The fact that they are from Texas is completely meaningless.

You may not have heard, Texas is a pretty big place. :)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Why would any buyer pay list price in this market? We are looking to buy in an expensive state (relocation) and believe me I will be starting my offers way lower than list ... why not? One house we looked at over the summer, just closed for $900K under the original list price. That is real money! There was plenty of countering back and forth. The sellers bought at the top of the market, but that isn't the buyers problem. The buyer was ready, willing and able ... the seller just had to accept that the market had declined.

I didn't overpay at the height of the market or get into bidding wars ... why would I do that in today's market?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 12:34AM
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I don't understand the concept of countering repeatedly. I received an offer last week that was 10% off my listing price. In addition, the potential buyer wanted $10,000 in closing costs, plus a few other things. I was willing to negotiate, but after 4 counters, I decided the process was ridiculous and in my final counter, I raised the selling price just to make them go away. The seller's agent was furious and said she would have accepted an earlier offer if she had know that I was going to do that. She was so angry, in fact, that she refused to return the house key. If I receive another offer, I plan to end the negotitions after the first counter. Despite what the news reports say, houses in my neighborhood have been selling for approximately 97% of asking. The guy who made an offer on my house also made an offer on another property located about a mile away and owned by a friend of mine--he didn't get that one either.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 11:32AM
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I hear where you're coming from eastgate on the counter offer/ negotiating process. We never prolonged the process, because quite frankly the whole back and forth thing to us was not enjoyable and was stressful. When selling, we'd look at an offer and if we didn't accept it, we'd counter with the bottom number we were willing to accept, telling our realtor it was final. Did we "leave money on the table"?, perhaps....but it's not our game. When buying we'd make an offer and either have the offer accepted, or accept the counter the seller made to us, or walk. We've had several realtors that were exasperated with our lack of desire to play the whole bidding game. We'd prefer to move onto the next house instead of playing back and forth games. But many many many buyers and sellers don't have a problem with the negotiating process and I think actually enjoy it....it's just not the game for us. Good luck !

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:48PM
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"houses in my neighborhood have been selling for approximately 97% of asking."

See, this kind of data & "reasoning" runs me nuts;
you can use it as a guide or rule of thumb *only* as long as your list price is no more than 103% of what a buyer will pay.

If you list your $100,000 house for $103,000, & you get 97% of list, then you will get what the house is worth;
if you list it at $150,000, you aren't going to get $145,500.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 3:44PM
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Exactly, Sylvia. This seems to penalize sellers who price their houses fairly to begin with. Chispa, the question of "why would any buyer pay list price" seems to ignore houses that are priced fairly.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 4:17PM
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I agree with Sylvia, it reminds me of the posts that ask what they should offer for a house listed for XXX amount.
How do we know?
Is the house listed at market value, a little under or over?
Who knows, not us sitting miles away.
Don't get me started on all the emotional comments about insults, then moving on to comments about Texas?
Interesting thread...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:39PM
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Boy, people must feel really bad when we come calling with an offer. Repeat: It's a business decision. When I have a car for sale for 10,000 and someone offers me 5,000, I don't feel insulted. They're checking to see how much I want the car gone and I'll reply back to them with an answer. And there have been times when I've accepted similar offers just to be done with the process. You never know.

Example: If you list your house for 500K (which is what it might have been worth at the peak of the bubble two years ago, here) in our very slow housing market, and I offer 400K, I'm not implying you're ugly or smell or are republican or anything else that might strike you as an insult. I'm just telling you what I think your house is worth, to me, and seeing if you agree.

Now, if I'm the third offer in a week and I'm way below the others, I might look a little foolish and I won't get the house, but I don't care on either point. The other side of the coin: I might offer more than I think is its fair price--but which may still be below your asking. If you're asking 500 for a 400 place, I might offer 450 if I absolutely love it and its perfect for us. And maybe there are places that I would pay 20% more than market just because the place is perfect (ie, the 500K asking). Haven't seen one yet, but maybe such a house is out there.

As an aside, if I see a house listed which has been on the market for a *long* time and has a higher-than-market price with no reductions or token reductions, I might make a low offer--but I probably won't offer at all, as I'm pretty confident others will already have made market offers. Why should I waste my time and my realtor's time? (In the same vein, if I do a search of public records and discover you owe more than fair market, I'm definitely not going to bother making a market offer, I'll wait for the bank to own it, which it will if the sellers absolutely have to leave.)

Frankly, I never understand listings which just hang around forever; either you need to sell and the offers you've been getting have informed you of the true market for your place but you live in a fantasy world, or you don't need to sell and enjoy constantly cleaning and the hassle of selling. Yuck.

We don't offer lower on everything we like just to be contrary. If it's priced sharply I have no trouble making a full price offer, maybe even adding an escalator. We did this recently on a very keenly priced place but waited just that small bit too long to pull the trigger. A neighboring house is price 100K over market and has been sitting for 180+ days. You'd like to think the clue phone would be ringing there, but I suspect the line has been disconnected.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:18PM
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Since your house is "worth" $429K you should accept nothing less. The persons making the offer felt differently. Until you and a buyer are in agreement as to what the house is "worth" there will be no sale.

Be prepared to be the house on the block that is shown as an example as to why other homes in the area are well priced.

A few years ago I put in an offer at 89% of list and was told I was being unreasonable, even though you could tell the sellers had overpaid when looking at the comps when they purchased.

They countered at full price and later offered to sell at their list price. They eventually sold for what I had offered, but lost more time waiting for the next buyer.

Did I get that house? No. Do I regret it? No, as better deals are coming on the market all the time.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:22AM
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"they had already seen 25 other houses."

What on earth does that have to do with it? Seven years ago I looked at 30 houses before buying, this time around I looked at three. Maybe they are just patient.

Nonetheless, I would have problems trying to sell my house for 88% of asking. Maybe that's because I think I'm already being generous in my lowish asking price that I'm planning on listing for. Should I factor this sort of thing into my asking price? Maybe raise my asking price a bit so that a 94% offer or so will be what I really want?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:38PM
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mfbenson -- pricing is so difficult in this market. My next door neighbor listed about a month ago. Recent sold comps had similar homes selling for between 200K and 210. My neighbor decided to list at 198K so he'd get a lot of traffic and hopefully a quick sale. I'm thinking this might have backfired on him. He got an offer of $168K....he countered at 192K and the "buyers" countered back at 175K. He countered back at the lowest he's willing to go 190K (he doesn't have to sell, but would like to move back to Phoenix to be near family). The "buyers" said no. I'm wondering if buyers are looking in a 175-200 price range and his home is at the top of the price range. Wouldn't it be better to be priced at 200K spanning both price ranges and being in the bottom of the 200-225K price range? I'm not sure if that would have been better pricing strategy or not. But I know that pricing is all over the place with some sellers asking unrealistically high price and some sellers setting bargain basement prices.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:36AM
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From watching 2 specific markets, my old one on the east coast and my potential one on the west coast, some sold prices seem to be back at 2004 levels, with highs being in 2007. Both areas had high appreciation, so even the "current" 2004 prices are not a bargain.

If sellers bought before 2004 (and didn't squander all their equity!) they can ask what seems like "bargain basement prices", but they will most likely still be able to make some profit. In some of the higher appreciation areas, long time homeowners will still make a pretty decent profit.

What amazes me is that in this particular west coast market, some of the aggressively well priced homes are getting multiple offers and selling over the asking price. I guess buyers can spot a "bargain" when they see it!! Who would think that in a buyers market you would be asked to come back with your best-and-final offer ... crazy!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 5:31AM
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Wouldn't it be better to be priced at 200K spanning both price ranges and being in the bottom of the 200-225K price range?

I agree. It seems that most agents are still pricing using the $XXX,999 formula. When they do that they are losing the buyers who are looking at slightly higher priced homes. Agents should price "on the break", and increments of $25,000, because that is the way that Realtor.com and many other sites set up their searches.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 11:22AM
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I guess then my offer on a house of 21% below origional list was insulting....14% below list price when I made the offer.

House sold at 15% below list, they overpaid in my opinion, but everyone has one.

DOM in the high 200s.

I guess also to some extent, houses are more of a comodity in other areas, subdivisions have many nice houses, some are very similar and even identical. Where I am, housing stock is older, anywhere from the 20s with the bulk from the 50s and 60s. Pricing is all over the map newly updated homes can sell for $100k-$150K or more than identical floorplans that aren't updated. Owners don't seem to understand the difference, their remodeled 1985 kitchen isn't new anymore.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 12:42PM
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I haven't read all the replies, but did want to put in my own two cents about the subject, and again, it's just MY 2 cents...

I have been searching for a home in another state for about a year. I've looked at hundreds of homes over the months. I know my price range and what I can/cannot afford to take on. I've read a lot of information on buying homes as not to make a mistake, though I'm sure I will somewhere along the line.

I am in the position that I don't have to move at a certain time (obviously by how long this is taking) and can close quickly, my mtg is set in place.

Anyhow, one thing I do remember reading was about offers and how you should NOT be insulted when a low ball offer comes in. When an offer comes in, even if it is a low-ball offer, it opens the lines of communication. Realtors are required to submit all offers, no matter what.

This past month, I've been away and searching for a home once again. The area that I'm looking at and the price point that I'm looking is the price point that is selling the fastest. I'm not looking for an expensive home at all.

It doesn't help that I am VERY specific on the type of home I'm looking for, I have wants and needs that are not easy to come by - certain layout, certain size master bedroom, one-story, level lot, must have a seperate den, etc.

Well, we found a home we liked, it will be listed just about a month this week. It's older, and definitely needs updating. The list price was $159,900 - my search parameters was to look at homes up to $160K but my budget was to stay $150K or below, depending on what needed to be done with the house and how much money I would have to spend on getting it to be how I wanted.

Now, I'm someone who does EXTENSIVE searching when I decide to purchase something, and with a house, it's serious business with me. I go on county records, deed searches, look up lots of information that others would never even think of. The more you know, the better - can't hurt.

The home is in an area that has the top rated schools in the county, not that I have kids in school anymore, but I know it's important for many and for resale value (gosh knows what schools will be like when I'm ready to move again!). The neighborhood is beautiful, gorgeous homes in a subdivision (with no HOA, thankgoodness - that was another one of my criterias)close to EVERYTHING and this is the only home for sale in that subdivision if you look on MLS.

BUT, if you look deeper, there is a home that's going in to foreclosure AND from talking with a lady down one of the other streets in the SD, the house next to her, the man had just moved out that morning, lost his house due to foreclosure. Do you really know for sure it's the only home in foreclosure?? Many people in this area may think the same.

Also, the comps that the realtor used, she didn't include the house RIGHT next door, which I knew had sold just one year ago for $150K and is the same sq footage, same size lot and possibly, could be updated - but she used higher comps that she though looked better.

I also asked my realtor to let her know that the acreage she listed the house being, .653 is incorrect, that it's .536. You can find out a LOT when you search. There's even a survey on line of the home that was done in 1990.

I found out that this couple lived in the house for just 6yrs, bought it at $155K. They have made NO updates on it at all. My initial offer was $140, $20K less than they are asking. They countered at $155K and the LA sent a long letter explaining that she knows what they paid, that they really have no wiggle room, etc. etc. But also, that they found a home that they LOVED and wanted to sell quickly.

Amyhow, I countered back at $147K (also, I'm not asking for anything within the house that's not glued or screwed, as my RA calls it) When my agent called me back after telling their agent my counteroff, the LA told her that she didn't think they'd go that low, but she would present it to them anyhow (which she is required to do)

They countered back at $148,500 and will pay for the 1 yr home warranty (not needed, going to have to replace all appliances soon). I accepted that offer. It was more than I wanted to pay and I'm sure it was less than they had hoped it would sell for.

It's definitely more than I wanted to pay for this particular house, that extra $8K would have surely made doing things in the house a LOT easier, (I've been posting all over the boards in hopes of getting ideas from others on what to do with all that needs to be done)

I came up after considering and knowing what they paid, that they would also be paying in realtor fees, closing costs, etc. And, they probably came down so they wouldn't lose the house they want to buy and no one else had made any offers in the month it's been on the market. I know they are no making money on this deal, but I think all parties involved made strides to make this work.

Now, we are waiting for inspections tomorrow and will know from there which way to proceed. If there's extensive work that needs to be done, like roof, termite or the a/c is going (it's old) then I walk - I'm not going to put in $12k for a roof AND all the updating when I could probably find a home for a little more that is more updated then this, it just may take my search a bit longer to do. BUT, if all seems to go well, then we will be closing Oct 28th.

Anyhow, I didn't mean for this to be this long, esp. when my message was really, don't be insulted. I hope these people weren't - it shows interest. Oh, and last, at least in the area I've been looking - it appears that the majority of the homes listed, and my LA told confirmed, in their market, if a home doesn't have any kind of activity within 30-60 days, they lower the price. Since I look at the MLS listings daily, I see homes that were not in my price range that I could afford move in to my price range and keep going down, people who want/need to sell have to do something I guess, those who don't have a time frame can have the luxury to hold on for as long as they want.

Best of luck if you haven't sold yet.

The house!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:41AM
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It was more than I wanted to pay and I'm sure it was less than they had hoped it would sell for.

I've always heard that's what a satisfactory transaction looks like! Congratulations on your new home.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 12:43PM
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"Anyway, we are going to build. Have a lot and when we sell, will use our equity to build. So, we aren't rushed. We wouldn't be moving at all except DH's health precludes him from taking care of the landscaping like he used to. Otherwise, I'd be content to stay here"

You're not rushed? It usually takes longer than expected (no matter how long you expect) to build a new home.

As for the landscaping comment I would gladly pay someone to take care of the yard before I moved out a home that I loved.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 4:41PM
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Thanks auntjen!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 7:18PM
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dockside: "It was obvious that they were looking for someone desparate to sell and we felt that, if they were serious, they would take our lowest (which it is). "

Actually, they're the ones' that are serious; hence their offer to buy your property. You, on the other hand, appear not to be serious. This is obvious by your statement that you don't have to sell. You've merely put a for sale sign up and if someone happens to be willing to pay what you believe is the value of your house, you'll sell. Otherwise, you won't.

You question why the buyers' agent would continue to work with them. I question why your listing agent would want to continue to spend money to market your house when you don't appear to be serious about wanting to sell it.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 4:58PM
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I also agree w/Sue, Dave, and brickeye and others who said it's not an insult but just business if a buyer make a lowball offer. If they're out of the ballpark for that type of house in your area they will lose it to another buyer or have to come up in price. But if they are your only buyer, or all the buyers offer that price range, then that kind of confirms that the house simply isn't worth what you thought it was.

Artificial price inflation and industry hype have convinced too many people that their houses were really worth those ridiculous prices, (unaffordable by most Americans, and many now in foreclosure due to predatory loans). It is possible that the figures the seller is going by (what other houses are fetching) could even be skewed by crazy cash back incentives, etc, that make it seem like prices are high, but it's all a shell game.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 2:46AM
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To even have a lowball offer, you must first have multiple offers. Then, the lowest one becomes your lowball. Since this is your only offer, it is merely a low offer and not a lowball offer.

As far an insult goes, I doubt the garden web ethos would permit me to demonstrate an actual instance of insulting, but suffice it to say a low offer doesn't qualify. Anyhow, your best bet is to make a counteroffer to keep the process alive, but come down only a tiny, tiny amount from your asking price. It will telegraph the message.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 4:39PM
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While there is no set definition of a low-ball offer, historically it is at least 10 percent below the asking price. You don't need to have multiple offers to consider an offer that is more than 10% lower then list as lowball.

We once had a lowball offer on a home back in the 80's. I was insulted, my hubby, ever the voice of reason countered the offer. It's a business transaction. My inclination to be insulted would have blown the deal, my hubby's inclination to deal with the buyers got the home sold.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Well, we took the house off the market today (see my other thread re LA commissions).

I did say, above, that perhaps "insult" was the wrong word. I heard from our (former) realtor last week that the people who offered on our house, made a real low offer on another house in the subdivision and the owners refused it so they are on to somewhere else to find a bargain. They have made many low-ball offers and so far haven't been successful. That's their perogative. They just have to find a desperate seller. As I said earlier, we aren't desperate.

Three houses in our subdivision sold from July 15 through the end of August. These houses are all similar to ours. All the houses in our subdivision our custom homes so comparison is a little harder but they had no more square footage than we did, no view or not as great a view of mountains and lake, and fewer bedrooms and baths. The three other couples that viewed our house liked it, they just didn't buy for understandable reasons (wanted to stay in the same school district their kids were enrolled in, hadn't listed their house yet - I have no idea why they were looking at ours, twice, in fact). All the houses that sold, sold for more, per square foot, than our list price so I feel we were fairly priced. I think it was the timing. If we had listed a couple of months earlier, we would be building a new home and living in the town we where we will be building.

And, another major reason we are selling is to get rid of our mortgage. We were able to find a fantastic lot in a subdivision of custom homes which was in foreclosure. So we were able to buy it for almost half its original price. We are senior citizens and on a fixed income and don't have the $300 per month to pay someone to care for our yard. And, DH's severe allergy problems just started this summer. So, it was a quick decision to move, just at the wrong time.

We are going ahead with plans to build. Just have to wait until the house sells before we can start.

Hope that explains a lot that people have referred to.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 6:06PM
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Respectfully, I don't understand dockside's last post. The house was taken off the market and yet the post ends with 'we are going ahead with plans to build. Just have to wait until the house sells before we can start.'

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 5:20PM
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We are working our the building plan, have a builder lined up, have picked out flooring, cabinets, etc. So, when the house sells (we plan to put it on the market again in January) we will be ready to go.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 5:35PM
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I was a broker for many years. It's standard knowledge that low-balling gets the seller's back up because they take it as an insult rather than a bargaining tactic.

Of course, when it happens to yourself it's different. Back in a rising market in '89 I turned down $1,140,000. The next offer came in at $1 million even. "Big deal!" I snorted. "I'm supposed to be impressed?" Two years later, I sold it for $835,000. Live and learn.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 5:22PM
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You "were" an attorney per your "why do listing agents make so much money" thread, & now you & your husband are now "senior citizens on a fixed income"?

tough times indeed.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 6:38PM
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"I am large, I contain multitudes." Walt Whitman

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 7:49PM
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Three years ago, we bought our house using a lowball number. We knew the owners had gotten transfered, and were near the end of their listing contract. Original list was 249,000.00 they had dropped price to 193,000.00. We offered 177,000.00 thinking we'd dicker -- they accepted that day. Found out they had contracted with a relocation company that contracted with them to pay 70% when the 6 month listing was up (which was the following day!) Our 177K offer was 1% more!

On the flip side, the house WE sold was for alot less than the comps in our area. Houses selling (on our street) just 4 months before sold for 359,500 and 340,600 -- same floorplans, they just had pools. We were going to list at 310K -- we hadn't done any visible updates -- just pipes, wiring, and insulation. We got an offer of 300K just before it went on the market (before we even got it painted and recarpeted). We gave our verbal OK to our realtor over the phone -- then the buyer decided to chop another 10K off the offer when they finally put in writting! Hubby was so mad - he didn't want to sell for less than 300K. After calming him down, we agreed to 290K. We were able to pay for the above, 177K home with cash, but he still thought we could have done better..........but that was 3 years ago in Phoenix area..............and the house now is valued at 204K ! ! !

Was 290,000 for a home in an area previously selling at 340,000 a steal? Maybe when he bought it, but not now!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 2:08PM
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On Sept 18th, you made your original post and stated you were on market for about 30 days..that would date your listing mid august..

On Oct 12th, you took the home off the market and commented
"Three houses in our subdivision sold from July 15 through the end of August."

So some homes were sold during your listing, so perhaps your home is NOT worth what you believe,as others around you sold and you didn't..

I have stated many times, your house is worth nothing until you have a buyer who closes the deal..Anything more is just an "educated guess"

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 3:33PM
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Good forensic posting, qdwag!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 7:09PM
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