Everyone searching for a new home wants the very best deal they can get, and so, hoping to get a home at the cheapest price possible, they think to themselves: “I should try a lowball offer! After all, even if the seller doesn’t take the offer, they might still give me a better deal because of my bargaining.” But before you make that lowball offer, I want you to stop and think for a bit.
What is to be gained and lost by going for an absurdly low price on a home?
If you happen to succeed, you will get a great price on the home of your dreams. Sounds pretty good right? But even in this best case scenario, there are some pretty strong downsides to consider. What if the home needs some repairs? What if you discover a new problem with the house, and want to negotiate on the details with the owner?
By making that lowball offer, even if it was accepted, you have insulted the owner of the house. Homes are an emotional thing for most people. They’ve lived in that house for years, and many people have made dozens or even hundreds of small repairs and renovations to their home over the course of their stay in it. Now, they are parting with an old friend, and want the next occupant to treat it well just like they did.
If they are desperate, a seller might accept a lowball offer. But now they resent you, and they are unlikely to help you out in any way further along in the process. And this is the best-case scenario!
The more likely outcome is this: they deny your offer or make a more reasonable counteroffer, and now you are on a bad footing with the seller right from the start. If you really want the home, make a reasonable offer. You can undercut the listed price a little bit, but a lowball offer only offends.