With interest rates at their lowest levels in decades and a huge choice of inventory at the moment, quite a number of home buyers and investors are making really low offers to purchase in the hope of picking up property “bargains”.
But rather than taking offence and immediately rejecting these offers, sellers need to take a deep breath, recognize that they are (in most cases) only intended as opening bids in a negotiation, and get ready to make counter-offers as that negotiation proceeds.
Sellers should take the view that even a low offer is better than a total lack of interest because it has a potential to lead to a satisfactory outcome - if handled correctly by a qualified agent with excellent negotiating skills. And of course, they always retain the right to accept or reject any offer at any stage before the sale agreement is signed.
Do your own homework
Before you contact an agent, do your homework and research the market in your area. What are similar properties selling for, what features are popular, which listed properties stand out for you and why?
Good agents are worth their weight in gold, but the wrong agent can just as easily scupper a deal. Interview at least two agents and don’t be won over by the highest valuation received, especially in a tough buyer’s market when the highest valuation is usually not the best valuation.
Rather select an agent based on their skill sets, local market and area knowledge, the company’s marketing ability and their track record in your neighbourhood.
This is why it is so important for sellers to be able to trust that the agent to whom they give their mandate is a good negotiator as well as a good marketer, and can keep a cool head while retaining the buyer and guiding the transaction towards a win-win conclusion.
Serious buyers have a good grasp of trends
It is also important to recognize that there is so much market information available online now, serious buyers will have a very good grasp of current trends, of what constitutes good value for money, and of selling prices rather than asking prices in the areas they prefer.
In addition, the real estate sector is constantly becoming more efficient, with technology enabling prospective buyers to quickly sift out both unsuitable and overpriced properties during their preliminary home searches.