When it comes to buying a home, there are many clever marketing strategies buyers can use to purchase the home of their dreams for less than asking price. While making a low offer can be hard to pull off, there are some situations where low-ball offers are considered and accepted.
Offering low-ball offers is infinitely easier in a buyer’s market, but with most of the US in a seller’s market, low-ball offers can be more challenging (but not impossible) to pull off.
Real estate agents can provide the best tips on making low-ball offers that homeowners will actually take under advisement. In addition, these five tips can help you make a low offer on a home, without offending the homeowner.
1. Do Your Research
If you’re offering a low bid on a home, you have to be prepared to back your offer up. This is especially true if you’re in a seller’s market, where low offers are often not taken seriously. While the seller’s agent is going to be acutely aware of comparable home values, it can help to look at those homes and note what they might have that the property you’re interested in does not.
For instance, maybe the property is on a less than desirable street or maybe the kitchen is outdated, with laminate cabinets and countertops. Or, maybe the other, higher priced homes have two full bathrooms and this one only has one and a half. Figure out a valid reason why this home shouldn’t sell for the same price as similar properties.
In addition, if the home’s been on the market for a long time, you may be able to use this as your motivation to get the homeowner to sell quickly for less than asking price. You need to find legitimate reasons why your offer should be considered and be ready to point to the research that backs you up.
2. Submit a Clean Offer
Take your time ensuring your offer meets local requirements and submit this with a lender pre-approval letter, if needed. Your real estate agent will be a great resource in helping to get your offer into shape.
You want the seller’s agent to realize you’re a top contender who is taking this process seriously, so even if you’re worried your offer is too low, you want to appear strong and ready to act.
3. Uncover the Seller’s Motivations
Rarely is a home sale ever just about getting top dollar on a home. Homeowners sell their property for a variety of reasons and there could be a mix of emotions and deep-rooted memories tied up in their home.
If this is the home where they raised their kids and put them through school, the seller might be more inclined to sell to a family who can enjoy the home as they did. Writing a personal letter stating why you want this home over any other can go a long way in making your case. In fact, a personal letter can often put you at the top of the list, even if there are higher offers.
4. Be Prepared to Counter
Once you make an offer, the seller will most likely counter it, asking for a higher price. While this may seem like a game to some sellers, it’s standard practice in the home selling industry. Don’t be afraid to counter their offer, even if your counter is much lower.
If they weren’t considering you as a serious buyer, they likely wouldn’t counter your offer and might ignore it altogether. Consider the counter as an invitation from the seller to continue bidding on the home.
5. Partner with a Qualified Agent
A great real estate agent is your best chance at purchasing a home for under the asking price. Discuss the reasons why you want to make a low offer on a home and your real estate agent can help you develop a solid strategy for winning over the seller.
Not only will a real estate agent help with strategy, but they’ll also go to bat for you with the seller’s agent. Along the way, they’ll offer expert advice and help you navigate through counter offers and inspection negotiations. A full-service real estate agent will follow you all the way through closing. Some real estate agents even offer home buyer rebates, saving you more money at closing.
If you don’t already have a local real estate agent, Clever can match you with a full-service agent ready to make your home ownership dreams come true. Fill out the online form to get connected with a Clever Partner Agent near you.