Submitting an Offer: How Low is Too Low?

Submitting An Offer

Generally speaking, homes sell for less than their asking price. Unless there is a bidding war between buyers occurring (which actually isn’t all too uncommon in the spring), most buyers will offer a dollar amount that is a bit less than the seller’s current asking price. And this is a great thing for our buyers! In fact, on average in our area, homes sell for around 90-92% of their original asking price.

It can be tempting for buyers to “lowball” or submit an extremely low offer on a home that’s been sitting on the market for some time. And sometimes, this is a great idea! Submitting a very low offer is typically more successful when you’re working with a foreclosed home or a short sale when there are no other buyers submitting offers. You’re dealing with banks (not humans) and luckily, banks have fewer emotions (and aren’t easily offended)! It’s also not a bad idea to “lowball” if you’re not dead set on the home, which is why you’ll often see investors and home flippers do this. And, lastly, it’s not a bad idea to submit a lower offer than normal if you’re paying cash, or waiving major contingencies such as a home inspection contingency.


The EveryHome team would love to help you land the home of your dreams!

Of course, there are times when it is not a good idea to submit a lowball offer. First, we’ll clarify that an extremely low offer is typically considered anything less than 65-70% of the current asking price (especially when the home has been on the market a while).  Often times, the biggest concern is offending the sellers and not receiving a counteroffer from them. Sometimes as a buyer, it can be hard to believe that there’s more than just dollars and cents occurring – but consider that the seller has serious emotions and attachment to the home. We often experience buyers submitting “lowball” offers and becoming upset when a seller does not provide a counteroffer. Or, if the seller does provide a counteroffer, it typically can become very difficult for both sides to reach an agreement. In the rare case that an agreement is reached, there is often a good deal of hostility between parties.

The goal, as real estate agents, is to assist our clients with purchasing their dream home for the greatest price possible. Your EveryHome agent will provide you with a comparative market analysis to determine the market value of the home you like, and assist you with the best strategy for submitting an offer. Of course, every situation is different – so we always recommend you speak with your agent (and lender).