How to deal with buyer clients making lowball offers

Tactics and tips that could save a relationship -- and maybe even a sale
  • Citing data, probing goals, emphasizing the importance of trust, encouraging empathy and ending relationships are among the potential ways to handle recalcitrant buyers.

The home was perfect for the agent's client. Listed at $389,000, the property was close to her top choice school (where she wanted her son to attend). And with the lowest price-per-square foot in the area, it could only be described as a bargain. There was just one problem: The client only wanted to offer what the seller would likely see as a lowball number -- $30,000 less than the asking price. "I feel bad for her, as she is probably going to lose on her near-perfect home by thinking she can lowball these sellers," said the agent, who was able to persuade the buyer to submit a higher offer -- albeit one that he still considers insufficient -- on the home. "She is a smart lady, but just has it in her mind that she can offer much lower than list." Clients like this pose a frequent challenge to real estate agents, but not one that's insurmountable. Here are 10 ways to handle buyers who aren't willing to cough up enough to lock down a home. 1. Tell the...