Over the past week or two there has been an influx of activity with my listings and I've had 5 or 6 contracts presented in this short time period. It's interesting because we've already been experiencing our normal real estate sales downturn that happens in the fall and winter months in the Chicago suburb area.
I have noticed a real estate trend that I haven't seen in a long time. Some buyers are coming in with very low offers. I believe the lowest I received was $30,000 or more under list price on an Orland Park home for sale. Of course, my seller was upset and let me know that he'll hold onto the home over the winter rather than sell it at such a lowball price.
In fact, not one of these buyers has been successful in getting these low offers accepted. A couple of them have come up from their original offer quite a lot when they realize the seller is not in a desperate state.
In fact, one buyer walked away from the low offer the seller rejected. The same buyer came back a couple of weeks later only to be up against another offer that was verbally accepted by the seller. The original buyer was now in a bidding war for this home.
This is not the only situation that has occurred recently. Low offers being countered high by the sellers and these same properties being bought by other buyers that made better offers to begin with.
I realize that when I'm working for a buyer I do try to get them the best price possible on a listing. However, I also warn them that the consequences of making a very low offer might be that the seller doesn't counter at all and low offers can offend many sellers.
Interest rates have dropped a bit so buyers need to keep this in mind as it seems the rate decrease has brought other buyers out of the woodwork. Even if sellers want to sell, taking an offer even $10,000 under asking price might not be worth making a few more mortgage payments until the market picks up again.
If a buyer is looking for a great real estate bargain then they have to be prepared to lose out on a property they might really like. A buyer should have their agent do a Comparative Market Analysis for any home they are going to write a contract on to see what similar homes have recently sold for. This way they can see if their offer is too low or even too high. Remember, today's buyer will be tomorrow's seller at some point in time. You have to consider both sides of the transaction.