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.


And on top of that, he says, an increasing number of buyers these days consider it prudent to obtain pre-qualification for a home loan, so they know exactly what they can spend and are ready to make an immediate offer when they see a property that they like and that they believe they can “land” within their budget.

The one thing that buyers don’t know, however, is the difference between the advertised price and the price that a particular seller is actually prepared to accept. And in an attempt to discover that number, the negotiating style of some of them will be to start with a really low offer – which they actually don’t expect will be accepted – and work their way up." 

Selling a home can be a real slog at the best of times, but in the current market it’s particularly difficult and sellers need to pull out all the stops to make their properties stand out from the competition and ensure it doesn’t languish on the market interminably. 

Very likely, they will also have had even more time during the Covid-19 lockdown to really scrutinise online listings for good value – especially since, with physical viewings not being allowed, agents have been working hard to improve their listings with additional photos, video walk-throughs and virtual tours.

With so many properties on the market at the moment, you need to grab potential buyer’s attention and the best way to do this is with quality photographs that show your home to its best advantage.

A meagre selection and pictures depicting mess and clutter will ensure your home attracts very little interest. Compare your advert with others. Have a look at your property ads online and compare them to other similar properties in the area. Particularly examine the photos, what the lead image is, how big the rooms look and also read the property description. If yours doesn’t stand out from the others, ask your agent to amend the advert.

So pocket your pride and price your property right.


You can’t afford to price yourself out of contention, especially in a strident buyer’s market. If you have appointed a strong agent, you should trust them to guide you. Remember that there is a difference between market price and the bricks and mortar value - and there is always a ceiling to what the market is willing to pay. Rather create a bidding war with competitive pricing than have your home sit on the market for ages with no offers.

Courtesy of  Property24

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This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)