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Is It Wrong To Make A Low Ball Offer?

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The real estate market is down. We all know that. Since real estate agents have been dying to make a sale, they’re now pitching the slogan that it’s a “buyer’s market” right now. They’re right, you can find great deals right now on newer construction and properties in pre-foreclosure. We have been looking around for houses in the Orlando, Florida area. This area was hit very hard by the housing downturn. Every other property is either in pre-foreclosure, bank-owned, or a short-sale. We found a few properties that we love. They tastefully renovated, but it appears that speculators weren’t able to flip the property quick enough. Now, they are desperate to sell, and we’re wondering how desperate.

My wife and I were wondering if it’s wrong to offer 25% to 30% less than the asking price just to see what happens. We’re not trying to insult the seller or his/her property. We’re just curious to know if they would accept the offer. Real estate agents are always hesitant to send in low-ball offers. They don’t want it to start a trend in the neighborhood, and I think they feel embarassed sending in low offers. But, some sellers are eager to dump the property, and the low-ball offer may be the only one they’ve received in months.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this is wrong? Do you think sellers take offense to it? Should we care if they do take offense to it? Are we putting the agent in a bad position?

Edit: I was just reading Free Money Finance’s blog and he addresses this same question. I just wanted to make sure you know that I wasn’t trying to copy him. This was purely coincidence!

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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