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6 FAQs About Making a Below Asking Offer on a House

It’s possible to purchase a home below asking price by making a low offer to the seller. However, it’s important to understand when your low offer will be accepted, so you don’t lose the home. Find out answers to all your questions on making low offers on a home.
It’s possible to purchase a home below asking price by making a low offer to the seller. However, it’s important to understand when your low offer will be accepted, so you don’t lose the home. Find out answers to all your questions on making low offers on a home.

Is it ever a good time to make an offer on a home that’s below asking price? Though this answer depends entirely upon your individual situation, there are a few key times when a lowball offer might be accepted by a seller. You’ll just need to be strategic about placing your offer, to ensure your bid is taken seriously.

While your real estate agent should be your top resource for planning any bidding strategies on a home, it’s also important to do your own research.

This guide will answer any questions you might have on making a low offer on a home.

1. Can you offer less than asking price on a house?

Yes, any buyer can offer less than the asking price on a home when making a bid. This can be a strategy used to eventually settle at the asking price or may be a smart move if you don’t believe the actual home’s value is worth the listing price.

Your agent can offer great strategy tips during this process and negotiate on your behalf when making an offer. It’s best to let your agent know how high you’re willing to go to ensure you don’t miss out on the home if a higher offer comes along.

2. Should you offer less than asking price on a home?

The answer to this question depends on a few different factors. First, you’ll want to determine if your local market is hot or cold. If it’s hot, it is likely a seller’s market and buying competition will be increased. This would be a bad scenario for making low offer. If the market is cold or cool, however, the buyer has more leverage and you may find a seller will accept your low offer.

There are other factors to consider, such as actual home value, how long the home has been listed, and how quickly the homeowner needs to sell. If the value seems lower than the listing price, the home has been listed for three weeks or more, or the homeowner has a quick timeline for selling, you may be able to purchase the home for less than asking price.

3. What is considered a lowball offer?

A lowball offer isn’t the same as a low offer. While a low offer might be a few thousand to ten thousand below asking price, a lowball offer is significantly below the home’s actual value. This type of offer can be accepted in the right circumstances, but should never be made without consulting an experienced real estate agent.

4. Should you make a lowball offer on a home?

Making a lowball offer is rarely successful, but it can work in some buying situations. First, it’s important to understand the seller’s motivation. Do they need to sell quickly to pay off their mortgage? Are they more interested in finding a good homeowner than making a profit?

Working with your agent to uncover these details can help you determine if a seller would be likely to accept a lowball offer and decide your best move.

5. When is a seller more likely to accept a low offer?

A seller is more likely to accept a low offer in a buyer’s market or if they have a short timeline to sell their home. They also may be more likely to accept a low offer if you are paying in cash, rather than financing.

Lastly, a seller is often more likely to accept a low offer when understanding the reasoning behind the offer. For instance, if you’ve done your research and found comparable homes in the market are being sold for less than asking price or depreciating, the seller might be more inclined to accept your offer. If the home will need significant repairs, this can be used as leverage when making a low offer for a seller who doesn’t have the time or money to make these repairs.

6. Can you lose a home by making a low offer?

Unfortunately, no matter how smart you think your bidding strategy is, it is possible to lose a home when making a low offer. Sometimes, you’ll lose a home simply because another offer topped yours. Other times, the seller might think they can find a better offer if they hold out and wait for another buyer.

It’s important to remember that selling a home can be emotionally tolling for a seller. Some sellers have raised their family in that home or think their home is worth more because of the good memories they’ve made inside of it. Accidentally insulting the seller’s home or implying it’s not worth the asking price can offend the seller and cause you to lose the home. That’s why working with a real estate agent to handle all offer negotiations is so important.

Next Steps

If you’ve found a home you think is overpriced, reach out to a local buyer’s agent to start planning your offer strategy. If you don’t already have a real estate agent, Clever can connect you with a buyer’s agent in your city.

Clever Partner Agents are top-rated real estate agents located across the U.S. When working with a Clever Partner Agent, you’ll receive on-demand showings to help you view homes more quickly, and Home Buyer Rebates (in eligible states) to help put more money back in your pocket at the time of closing.

To find out more about the benefits of working with a Clever Partner Agent, get connected to one today.


Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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