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I tell sellers that most sellers view their home as the Taj Majal and many potential buyers will view it as a shack when the buyer presents their offer to purchase. It's important to understand this before placing the home on the market to sell. In fact, it's best to try to break the emotional attachment to the property as soon as the For Sale sign goes on the yard.
When a low ball offer comes through, often the first reaction from the seller is to feel insulted. It's important to recognize that the low ball offer is typically just a tactic to see if the buyer can get a great deal or to see how the seller reacts. Do not take this personally. I understand that this is easier said than done.
The best way to respond to low ball offer is to make sure to list your property's price accordingly with a thorough and realistic market analysis. The best negotiation defense to a true low ball offer is a credible list price that can be defended by the market data because this is credible and defensible. Studies show that sellers who over-list their property typically invite more low-ball offers from buyers, and sometimes even a reasonable offer will appear relatively low in comparison to the true market value.
The seller has 3 basic options for a low ball offer: accept, counter, or reject. I advise my sellers to never reject an offer. The Sellers' goal should be to get as many offers as possible and open up the negotiation process with just as many buyers. If the offer is a true low ball offer, it's wise to ask the buyer for supporting data. If the low ball offer is to be countered, it's wise for the sellers' agent to provide the buyers' agent with the true and accurate market analyses used to list the property with the counter offer. The sellers' agent should be calm, professional when working with the buyers' agent regardless of the offer price in order to get the home sold at a price acceptable to the seller.