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The Business of Real Estate

Insulting offer? Think again

Interesting post on

Sellers: Would you respond to an insult?

When I represent sellers, I provide in-depth market analysis and pricing consultation — before accepting the listing, with regular updates while the home is on the market, and again to help with consideration of purchase offers.  When I represent buyers, I provide in-depth consultation on property value before writing purchase offers.  In both cases, most clients appreciate the work and knowledgeable advice.  Some acknowledge the advice and choose to ignore it.

Just as some sellers insist on overpricing their homes, some buyers insist on “going low,” at least as a starting point.  I generally choose not to take unrealistically priced listings, and I avoid representing “bottom feeder” buyers who assume that all sellers are just gold-diggers.  However, when I have a buyer who wants to offer something close to realistic market value for a badly overpriced listing, I am happy to write that offer.  In the Austin/Central Texas market, it’s up to the listing agent to present that offer and provide professional advice and counsel to his or her client.

As the article notes, sellers can feel insulted by a low offer.  There’s an old saying in this business:  “Don’t get mad at them.  They’re the ones that want to buy your home.  Instead, get mad at all those people who saw the house and didn’t even make offers.”  That’s not just being cute.  It’s good advice. 

When selling your home, accept the fact that some buyers just won’t make a strong first offer, but will negotiate reasonably.  Others won’t budge.  If you don’t respond, you’ll never know which is which.  Even if you don’t send a counteroffer, just an invitation for a new offer, supported by well-researched market information, is better than just getting mad.

Keep in mind:  To you your house is a home.  To the buyer it’s still just a house, and there are a lot of those to choose from.

About Bill Morris, Realtor

Many years of business experience (high tech, client service, business organization and start-up, including almost 20 years in real estate) tell me that service is the key to success and I look forward to serving you. I represent both buyers and sellers throughout the Austin metropolitan area, which means first-hand market knowledge is brought to bear on serving your needs. Learn more about my background and experience, my commitment to my clients, my profession, and to the real estate industry at


4 thoughts on “Insulting offer? Think again

  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    Posted by frostwire | February 5, 2011, 1:41 PM
  2. Good advice and one that sellers would be wise to heed. It may be hard for sellers to detach emotionally and see the offer as a starting point, and not just something to get mad about. I had one transaction just last month that fell apart because of super-sensitive principals that just weren’t able to get over their feelings of paying-too-much-selling-for-too-little. End result: contract fell out, buyers haven’t bought and sellers haven’t sold.

    Posted by Alison | February 5, 2011, 4:34 PM
    • Thank you for your comment, Alison. You’re right — this can end up costing both parties the right transaction, and it’s not always over a lot of money. I had one a few years ago where both buyer and seller were willing to walk away over $200 — out of almost $200,000 — at closing!

      Posted by billmorrisrealtor | February 5, 2011, 9:47 PM


  1. Pingback: Insulting offer? Think again « Bill Morris' Austin Real Estate Blog | Market My Home Local - February 5, 2011

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