Blog Buyer Make a Low-Ball Offer

Make a Low-Ball Offer

By Julia Robertson, August 15, 2019

“What price should we offer?” Is the burning question.

When the time comes to prepare an offer package, among the other important details such as pre-approval letter, terms, possession, closing, and personal property included in the sale; there is price. Price is determined by the condition, location, and demand of homes like the one your interested in. With all these things considered, your Realtor helps you choose an offer price. Often your Realtor will prepare a comparative market analysis(CMA) and review with you. Your Realtor will also contact the listing agent to “get the scoop”, see how competitive other offers are, and when your offer is due by.

Now you have all the details in order for your offer. You want to offer below the asking price, but you really want this house! If this is your dream house, do not write a low ball offer if there are other competitive offers in a high demand area. I will say this again, do not write a low ball offer if you find out there are other competitive offers and the house is in a high demand area. If you really want the house and you are up against 1-20+ other offers, put your best foot forward and go all in. That doesn’t mean offer an outrageous amount over the listing price. Your experienced Realtor will provide all the tools to write a competitive offer and get you the house you want. Or you will learn rejected offer by rejected offer, that it takes just a little something else to win in a competitive offer situation. Ok… but this is supposed to be about writing a low-ball offer, right? Yes. It is also important to know when NOT to write a low ball offer.

“How do I find a house that I can get a deal on and write a low-ball offer?”

So glad you asked. Now I can tell you about a recent success story of offering $25,000 less than the listed price, and buyer got the house they wanted. The home was originally listed for $625k. After 30 days it was reduced to $594k, then about 20 days after that reduced to $575k. The series of price reductions are a story of a motivated seller and its possible the house was overpriced to begin with. After communicating with the listing agent that my client wanted to offer $550k(when it was listed at $594k), the seller wanted to see if they would get more traction at $575k. When the house did not get an offer that weekend, we submitted the $550k offer, waiving any repairs or price reductions. Buyer would still do their inspections and due diligence. That is exactly what happened. The offer was accepted, inspections completed, additional inspections were completed by structural engineers, roofers, and siding experts. Any repairs found seemed doable over time and we moved forward to close. Done deal. Some times you have to give up something to get something. In this case, buyer was willing to take on minor repairs as long as he completed a thorough inspection of the house.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for a house to get a deal on:

  • Days on the market. After 30 days, a seller may have to pay a mortgage. Every month the house is on the market, there are expenses. Especially if it is vacant.
  • Is it in pre-foreclosure? You can find “potential listings” on Zillow. These are homes in pre-foreclosure. They may have missed a few payments and need to sell. Ask your Realtor to research the property.
  • Several price reductions. Sign of a motivated seller.
  • The “bones” are good, but it may need some work. If the work looks doable over time, research the costs to repair.
  • Ask your Realtor to “get the scoop”. Your Realtor will ask all the right questions.
  • Off market properties. Ask your Realtor to ask around. Sometimes a seller may be thinking about selling, and told their agent to keep them as a “pocket listing”.
  • Time of year. Consider house shopping after the spring/early summer boom is over.

Here are a few things to consider when writing a lower than asking price offer:

  • Ask your Realtor to prepare a CMA. Understand the neighborhood pricing.
  • Consider waiving repairs and or additional price reductions. This is huge advantage to seller, but also a huge advantage for you to buy at a lower price. Win-win. Protect yourself by competing your inspections.
  • Only waive an inspection if you have done a pre-inspect. Your Realtor may have you sign an acknowledgement that inspections were recommended and you declined.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a house- contact me! I’d love to guide you through the process.

Julia Robertson, Broker | Living Room Realty

Licensed in Oregon & Washington

541-505-1111 |


Photo Credit…Michael Waraksa, New York Times



Julia Robertson

Earth Advantage Broker Licensed in OR & WA

Julia Robertson is first and foremost a passionate Oregonian. She moved to Oregon eleven years ago and genuinely loves showing the city to clients who are considering whether to relocate. Julia constantly explores the city so that she can accurately match clients with a part of Portland Metro or Vancouver that is perfect them. She believes that everyone deserves the chance to own a home in an area or neighborhood that they love. Since a real estate purchase is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, Julia works tirelessly with her clients to build a trusting relationship and help them find not just a house, but a home. She has experience working with a broad range of clients to fulfill their diverse and unique needs. Are you selling your home? Purchasing your first condo downtown? Searching for property outside of the city? Looking to buy an investment property? Julia can help you come up with a plan that meets your timeline, your budget  and your needs.  If you’d like to meet for coffee or lunch to discuss potential real estate opportunities, Julia would love to hear from you. When Julia represents a client in the sale or purchase of a home, Julia treats the agency they have like a friendship, going above and beyond to serve her clients. She considers the client’s budget, bottom line, area preferences, and future plans. While Julia doesn’t consider herself a “sales person,” she does have over twenty years of experience in the field of sales and knows how to conduct herself in negotiations and details. Your business is Julia’s top priority, and she always makes herself available. From an early age, Julia loved everything related to homemaking.  Her childhood spent moving from town to town and always having to be “the new kid” gave her the personal confidence to meet new people and boldly operate in the high stakes world of real estate. Julia is a licensed Realtor in Oregon and Washington as a Seller Representative Specialist(SRS) and Earth Advantage-certified broker. She currently serves on the Living Room Realty broker advisory board and attends the Portland B corporation meetings.
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  • T: 541-505-1111
  • F: 503-961-8224

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