Austin Real Estate Agents disagree on the best negotiating strategy for responding to lowball Real Estate offers. There are two general camps of thought. One philosophy says that the amount of an initial offer doesn’t matter, and that the seller should always respond to any offer with a counter-offer of the lowest ‘bottom dollar’ price she is willing to accept for the property. I not only disagree with this strategy, but believe it is fails to protect the seller’s best interests.
To put it harshly, it is incompetent and negligent, in my opinion, for an agent to advise a seller to disclose her bottom line price based upon nothing more than the existence of a lowball offer. Nevertheless, I’ve heard many veteran agents claim that this is the best response to any offer – that “any offer is a good offer and deserving of a counter-offer”.
Would this ham-handed technique be representative of the “expert negotiating skills” that we as Realtors hold forth as one of the primary reasons you should hire us? I hardly think so. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but in general, in a healthy market with a properly priced home – and the seller being under no extraordinary duress – I think responding to a lowball offer with an immediate price decrease is a very poor negotiating strategy.
Another approach, the one I follow both as a listing agent and as a seller of my own properties, has always been to respond to lowball offers with a cordial “thanks, I appreciate the offer – really I do, but we’ll have to pass on it at this time”.