While it’s natural for buyers to want to get the best possible price on their dream home there are limits as to what will work and what will not. I have seen my share of house hunters that did not get the home that they really wanted. Many times this happens due to financial circumstances such as bad credit, not enough income to qualify for a loan and so on but sometimes the would be buyer can be their own worst enemy! Here are four very common mistakes that are almost guaranteed not to work.
Don’t “bother” to call the listing agent before making a low offer
As an agent you already know that the listing agent can be your best friend when making an offer to the seller. Personally I always like to know how many offers have already been received before I submit one, especially if the buyer is attempting to make an offer considerably lower than the asking price. The chances are that the more offers that have been received, the less likely an offer below the asking price will be accepted. If your client is interested enough to make an offer than you should inform them that property “X” already had 5 offers and that they might want to reconsider trying to “lowball” the seller before submitting. You owe this to them if you really want to help them get the house they really want, right?
Make additional demands when submitting a low offer
The simple truth is that most people are very proud of their homes. It’s not hard to insult the current owner by submitting a low offer. This will not only result in your offer being rejected but it could even lead to the seller no longer considering any future offers that you might make. If you are intent on adding insult to injury you could always include additional concessions along with a low offer. I strongly recommend that if you intend to make a low offer that you not request any additional concessions as well. This is sure to fail about 99% of the time.
Offer a very low deposit
This is another great way to have an offer rejected. First you make an offer that is substantially less than the asking price and then you include an earnest money deposit of maybe $100. Believe it or not I’ve seen this before! All that you are really doing is telling the seller that you cannot really afford their home or at the very least you aren’t that interested. Would you accept this kind of offer if you were selling your home?
Go for the “pity” card
Have you ever had a buyer fall in love with a home that they simply couldn’t afford? It happens a lot in this industry and sometimes the buyer will actually want to include a hardship letter in a low offer to the buyer in order to obtain a lower price. While such a strategy may be in earnest I don’t recommend it unless you enjoy wasting your time (and everyone else’s). Sellers are trying to get the best possible price and understandably so and I can assure you that the lender will be even less impressed. It’s better for all involved if the buyer simply finds a home that they love for less money.