Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to Deal with a Low Ball Offer on Your Chicago North Shore Home

As Chicago North Shore Real Estate agents, we know that selling your North Shore home can seem like an overwhelming experience as we see the national housing market leaning more in the favor of buyers.  Last week, we talked about some great tips for selling your North Shore home and some things you can do to make it stand out from other homes on the market.  
So, what happens if you follow those tips and your home is in excellent condition and primed for sale, but you are not getting the offers you expected?  It can be tough to know what to do in that situation and can be disheartening as you’ve put so much effort into your North Shore home.  It can seem that you’re back at square one and are not making any progress as you deal with these low offers.  We thought it would be helpful to tackle this topic of dealing with low-ball offers and give you some tips on how to turn it into a positive situation.
1. Consider the terms- Price is important for most North Shore buyers and sellers, but it’s not the only deal point. A low purchase offer might make sense if the contingencies are reasonable, the closing date meets your needs, and the buyer is pre-approved for a mortgage. Consider what terms you might change in a counteroffer to make the deal work.

2. Counter the purchase offer- Unless you’ve received multiple purchase offers on your Chicago North Shore home, the best response is to counter the low offer with a price and terms you’re willing to accept. Some buyers make a low offer because they think that’s customary, they’re afraid they’ll overpay or they want to test your limits.

A counteroffer signals that you’re willing to negotiate. One strategy for your counteroffer is to lower your price, but remove any concessions such as seller assistance with closing costs, or features such as kitchen appliances that you’d like to take with you.

3. Get the agents together- If the purchase offer is too low to counter, but you don’t have a better option, ask your Chicago North Shore Real Estate agent to call the buyer’s agent and try to narrow the price gap so that a counteroffer would make sense. Also, ask your agent whether the buyer (or buyer’s agent) has a reputation for lowball purchase offers. If that’s the case, you might feel more free to reject the offer.

4. Review your comps- Ask your Chicago North Shore Real Estate agent whether any homes that are comparable to yours (known as “comps”) have been sold or put on the market since your home was listed for sale. If those new comps are at lower prices, you might have to lower your price to match them if you want to sell.

5. Consider the buyer’s comps- Buyers sometimes attach comps to a low offer to try to convince the seller to accept a lower purchase offer. Take a look at those comps. Are the homes similar to yours? If so, your asking price might be unrealistic. If not, you might want to include in your counteroffer information about those homes and your own comps that your Chicago North Shore Real Estate agent provided for you when you first decided your asking price. If the buyers don’t include comps to justify their low purchase offer, have your real estate agent ask the buyers’ agent for those comps or their reasoning behind such a low offer.

6. Don’t signal desperation-Buyers are sensitive to signs that a seller may be receptive to a low purchase offer. If your home is vacant or your home’s listing describes you as a “motivated” seller, you’re signaling you’re open to a low offer. If you can remedy the situation, maybe by renting furniture or asking your Chicago North Shore Real Estate agent not to mention in your home listing that you’re motivated, the next purchase offer you get might be more to your liking.
Our team of experienced North Shore Real Estate agents understand all that goes into selling a home in today’s market.  We know it can be challenging and that’s why we’d love to help you walk through this process!  As always, our door is open to talk with you about the North Shore Real Estate market or any other questions you may have about buying or selling your Chicago North Shore home.  
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get your home sold!

The Thomas Team
Chicago's #1 Real Estate Brokerage

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