Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: I am Getting a Little Tired of Slick Offers

I am Getting a Little Tired of Slick Offers

Angry ManI have gotten more than a couple of offers lately that are becoming annoying to say the least. 

  • Ridiculously low
  • Insulting cover letters
  • Incomplete paperwork
  • Unsigned, weird contingencies
  • Lists of everything they think is wrong with the home (two from folks who never saw the property)
  • Contract forms from more than 30 years ago or from other states.
  • Subject to mortgage
  • No loan letters
  • Inflated prices with huge cash backs

Believe it or not I received offers on two of my properties that required the contract to be returned in person (to a PO Box) or to telegraph the offer.  That is right; it was on a contract form that the best I can guess was from about 1980.

I have a large 5 bedroom house that is priced extremely competitively.  I received a series of low offers on it.  Two of them had long lists of everything wrong with the home and why it was only worth what they offered.  One came from an agent and a buyer who had never viewed the home.  The other one came from an agent who has yet to do his first transaction and is not from the area.

  1. Two said it needed a new roof.  A new 50 year roof was installed less than 2 years ago, looks great and has a warranty.
  2. Both cover letters stated that after reviewing sale prices in the neighborhood, they felt they were offering top dollar. ($30,000 & $40,000 below the median price for the area, for the largest home for sale in the neighborhood on a larger than normal lot, in above average condition).
  3. Both mentioned all the repairs they needed to do. (This home has been well maintained.  The seller has complete records for maintenance and repairs.  Is including a home warranty, a Terminix termite program, warranties on the roof and appliances.  No known repairs needed at this time.

I am seeing this pattern of behavior more each month.  Possibly it is because I have more listings, possibly because there are more buyers who are reading the mainland news and think the sellers are desperate here.

I have to wonder do these agents and their buyers believe I over price my listings by 20 or 25%.  Are they calling me an idiot?  Are they telling the seller their property is worthless?  I wonder how successful they are running around insulting people's intelligence.

If you are going to waste our time at least make a reasonable effort. 

  • Fill in an appropriate contract.
  • Get the required signatures.
  • Include a loan letter from a lender.
  • Leave out the insults.
  • If you are uninformed about the market value of the home, please do not try to fake it.  The seller and their agent took a lot of time and care to arrive at the asking price.

Because I see these types of offers more and more frequently, I prepare my sellers in advance.  I present all offers to my clients, but some days wish I didn't have to.

I just have to wonder if this tactic works.  I can't imagine any seller jumping that low.  If the seller was willing to go that low the agent could have sold it in one day or bought it themselves.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 111 commentsRandy Prothero • May 05 2008 12:30AM


Again, many buyers are listening to the media, believing it is a buyer's market with a license to steal. I have recently seen a few "creative" offers given to me - our market is TOUGH here in Lorain County & the Western Suburbs of Cleveland Ohio.
Posted by Carla Harbert, RE/MAX Omega, Brunswick Ohio (Full Time REALTOR in Ohio) almost 11 years ago

Too many people are looking for deals that just don't exist.  The market free-fall in LV, Miami, etc is not a national situation.  I am surprised disappointed to see you get this from agents though.  

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) almost 11 years ago


It all has to do with the market and people's perceptions gleaned from teh media. And I think some buyers are being told that some of these are strategies that can work with "desparate" sellers. Some of it is incompetence. Some folks just like to throw offers out left and right to see if something will stick, and figure sooner or later something will. They are either not getting the appropriate advice from their buyer agents or perhaps choose to ignore it. Unfortunately it does not have the desired effect.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 11 years ago
Do you really have to present offers that are so low they are not reasonable?  That seems like a waste of everyones time.  This market has a lot of buyers thinking they can steal property. 
Posted by Robert Machado, CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management (HomePointe Property Management, CRMC) almost 11 years ago

Frustrating, annoying, irritating, and just plain inconsiderate! That is how I feel! Thanks for the post!

Posted by Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California (Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002) almost 11 years ago

I have had clients who kept 'losing out' on their offers. So I talked to the agent. The agent felt like it was their duty to present offers that the buyers wanted to offer.... regardless of how ridiculous.

I don't know if they ever found a house $50K below market or not.... they quit calling and I was relieved. Relieved because they wanted a pre-approval letter that exactly matched their many offers.

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) almost 11 years ago

If the seller was willing to go that low the agent could have sold it in one day or bought it themselves.

I like that line.  Truer words haven't been spoken 

Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) almost 11 years ago

I sell new homes, and I had a buyer want to write a contract for us to take out all of the trim & replace it with a different color, to take out the ceramic and put in hardwood, to put rip out all of the cabinets & replace them with a different color and to top it off the buyer wanted us to rip out all of the railing systems and put in wrought iron spindles.

Oh, and I forgot to mention...25K less than our asking price of 345.  Luckily, unlike an agent, I can refuse to write a contract.

Posted by Brian Arnold (Trinity Homes) almost 11 years ago
Oh wow those people actually pointed everything out that was wrong with the house without even looking at it?  what is real estate coming to?
Posted by Ryan Vivo, NRBA Realtor Solano County, Gateway Realty 707-384-5894 (Gateway Realty) almost 11 years ago

"Priced to reflect market conditions" is a term most buyers can't seem to understand. I'm working with a few who feel  they have a license to steal because that's what the media or their parent / brother /uncle /cousin / best friend from high school is telling them.

Everyone wants bragging rights to have gotten the most amazing deal.   I'd never let my buyers purchase an over-priced dump but I do get sick of submitting low-ball offers that I know will never be accepted. It is our job to do what they say though. 

Posted by Steve Stoddard almost 11 years ago

I wonder how much the media plays into buyers writing extremely low offer.   When I work with buyers, I spend a fair amount of time educating them about the market place and the current pricing conditions.  

Wouldn't it be great to see some positive articles in the press? 


Posted by Kathy Torline, Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog 719-287-1049 (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Robert - I present all offers.  Our state law requires all offers be presented immediately.  It can be done over the phone.

Jean - Those are emotions created from this type of behavior.

Tom - Some folks have to lose a few, then there are those who will never get it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Brian B. - When I have buyers tell me they want something that far below market value, I ask them if I find it don't you think I would buy it?

Brian A. - One of the reasons I have avoided buyer's agency agreements is so I can fire an unreasonable client like that.

Ryan - Unfortunately I have gotten similar letters from other agents sight unseen.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Steve - I would not hesitate to let them know I am not the right agent for them.  Besides being a business and that makes no business sense for you to waste your valuable time, I hurts your reputation.

I guess positive stories don't sell as many papers.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

You said it correct, prepare your sellers in advance.We are getting really low offers here on everything. That is just where the market is right now. It is very frustrating when a home is already priced to sell. It doesn't take an idiot to look at comps and see it is priced the lowest in the neighborhood for actives and solds. Then they come in 100K lower. 

We countered one like that, and they walked. They are looking fishing for a house to steal.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 11 years ago
I've seen a lot of that here as well.  I think it's from all the buyers hearing the media saying how desperate everyone is.  There isn't any emotion with many buyers and if they don't get a deal from you, they will go on to the next.  It's a very frustrating market! 
Posted by Laura Karambelas, Realtor - Downers Grove (Baird & Warner Downers Grove) almost 11 years ago
I had one yesterday that really took the cake. You will have to watch for it on my blog soon. But this "low-ball" offer was to much!
Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) almost 11 years ago
This past weekend I heard a "seasoned" agent talking about a low ball offer about 80,000 less than asking.  That surprised even me!!!  Well, instead of becoming irritated she pointed out to the other agent that she listed another home over the weekend - which seemed to be more in the buyers price range and she'd be happy to arrange a showing on that one! 
Posted by Sandra Workman, BBA, Broker, CRS, GRI, ABR, SFR, CNE, ePRO, CNHS (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi Randy,

I present all offers and like you I prepare the sellers, but some of these offers insult (everybody) rather than get results. I really like your last line, perfect! :)

Posted by Suzanne Sands, Somerset MA Real Estate (Pavao Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Randy,  When I had a large inventory of listings I experienced the same thing. I was also in the make a low offer business, due to working with investors who paid me to write offers. Therefore I did not get as upset at the wierd ones, they really became a source of amusment, something to talk about over coffee.

One thing to mention,is that one of the worst written oddball offers came from an older, retired Real Estate broker, nearly 20 years out of the business. He had made a fortune sending out form letters in the past at 30 to 40% under listing price, and had continued to do it after retiring here in Fla. It only took one a month to respond to make his undertakings worthwhile for the whole year, and he had several that would bite....

He is now one of my best clients, and we have brought his skills up to date with current technology and we continue to make offers, and to actually purchase property. Like you my first inclination was to blow this oddball character off, but that would have cost me over 50k in the last year.....Just my two cents

Posted by Mike Norvell Sr, Norvell Consulting Group (Morris Williams Realty) almost 11 years ago


Nothing of new news here...same crap..in a good market for sellers when agents would fight over deals they would ask me what they would need to get their buyer the deal...I told them the best answer I could give them is put in an offer with all the proper paperwork...escrows...loan amounts..approvals etc. The same should be for any deal..I hate when they leave all the loan amounts empty.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
Very Frustrating Randy.  Love the graphic!  I feel like that often...
Posted by Dorene Shirley, Silicon Valley Real Estate (The Mortgage & Property Connection) almost 11 years ago
You would think that an agent would have enough pride to complete the offer reasonably well - even if it is crap!
Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 11 years ago
I tell my clients not to worry about low ball offers.  They are going to come.  Counter  them calmly and rationally and you may find a party that is truely interested in the property and just was testing the water for a desperate seller.  When it comes to sloppy contracts the brokers need to be clued in to the fact that additional training is required before their agents are going to be bringing in dollars into the brokerage.  I refuse to do their job for them.  They can either correct the major mistakes or their offer won't be considered.  Harsh perhaps but they need to learn and if we fill in the gaps for them we are just rewarding the bad behavoir.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago

Randy, are you sure you weren't at my office receiving these offers? They sound all too familiar. I actually got a call over the weekend that was about 4 minutes long explaining to me how much work was needed on one of my bank owned listings. Funny thing is, half of what she said was incorrect - the other half, that's why we are priced so low.

A closing coming up in 2 weeks the initial offer came in trashing the unit and stating that this was their 'best and final offer'. Luckily I advised my seller to counter, he did and 1 week of negotiations later, they came up another 10% - duh. Sometimes people amaze me.

Posted by Susan Milner, Cape Coral Real Estate Broker, FloridaFutureAgents (Florida Future Realty, Inc.) almost 11 years ago
I have only been an agent for a few years but it amazes me how many agents that been around for years who don't know what they are doing.
Posted by Richard Lecinski (Long Realty Company) almost 11 years ago
Randy, I agree with Cindy Jones.  I tell the sellers they will come, but the buyers are fishing.  That being said I have had the buyers that have been stubborn in their offers and have lost houses because they think the media is more right than I am.  They finally learned and listened to me.  There is no excuse for for not being able to fill in the blanks on a contract correctly.  That loosey goosey behavior is what will land agents and their brokers in a courtroom!
Posted by Audrey June-Forshey, GRI, Gaithersburg, MD (RE/MAX Realty Services) almost 11 years ago


1) an offer can be presented on a napkin from the local greasy spoon or the back of an envelope. And all thats necessary for a contract is a meeting of the minds. If your client dosent like the form all you need to do is re write it in a form that makes them happy and send it back

2) I agree completely. If a buyer is going to add a justification to their offer then it should be accurate. I would   prefer an offer at or above the asking price just to tease you, but subject to an inspection and appraisal...then re-open negotiations after the inspection details whats wrong. Id still come in under the asking price, but Id have the reports to back me up.

3) In my market if its hasent sold yet, its over priced.  The appraisers see us as a declining market. Since we dont know how much further the decline will take us, a smart buyer needs to protect themselves. Market price is not what the most recent sold comps got...Its something less than that (in a declining market) Lets say 20% less, and to get a good deal,  a smart buyer will offer even less. 

4) Hurt feelings are not an option when you get a "low ball" offer.  You and your seller can either accept it, reject it or counter..... but understand that you may still own the property next year at a lower price. I can assure you that the buyers feelings wont be hurt either way. They will just move on to the next property.

Posted by Ron Parise (LocateHomes.com) almost 11 years ago
great post...I agree with you..do buyers think every seller is going to give his house away for such a low price. Also, some agents should go for training classes to become more professional...
Posted by Michael Shankman, Selling Las Vegas 702-498-3383 (Award Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi, Randy,

I appreciate your take on the offers you're seeing.  I think low-ball offers are a ubiquitous part of almost any real estate market.  Hopefully the quality of offer presentation you get begins to improve, though. 


Posted by Dan Hartman (Province Mortgage Associates - NMLS #2861) almost 11 years ago
Randy -- It seems that daily there are news reports about the real estate market and the average consumer fancies himself an expert because he happened to catch the five o-clock broadcast.  Inexperienced agents or those who really need to make a sale, are writing offers to please the unrealistic buyer. . .ugly phenomenon. 
Posted by Lori Gilmore, Realtor - Will County Illinois (Baird & Warner Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Randy- don't ya just love it?  It never ceases to amaze me what some people do.....and these are the same people that think they are the top agents :)  I will add my pet peeve of making several offers at the same time, hoping something works.
Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) almost 11 years ago
Randy, the carpetbaggers are out. After being mis-led by the news every buyer WANTS to think every seller's home is over-priced. A good buyer's agent can explain the market. Then there's that small portion of speculators that will drive you mad...as they listen to no one, including the agent in their back pocket (after doing so many transactions over the years)
Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Randy, I am laughing so hard that my side hurts! A telegram? Are they kidding? Didn't Western Union just discontinue them or something? What a hoot! And you know what - you are not the idiot here!
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Randy...I've been dealing with the same issues and have the following suggestion for you: Have your Sellers determine a price that they absolutely WOULDN'T consider (say $400K on a house listed at $500K) and then have them submit a letter in writing to you stating that they are directing you NOT to share any offers that are less than $400K....that way, you can avoid maybe some of the nonsense by communicating that written directive to the Buyer's Agent prior to their offer submission. In Florida, we are either Single Agents or Transaction Brokers and each of those allows us the opportunity to "present all offers and counter offers in a timely manner unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing."

Good luck...

Posted by LaShawn Norden, REALTOR, (321) 377-0157, Your Real Estate Advocate in Central FL (Keller Williams Heritage Realty) almost 11 years ago

It always amazes me that people are so lacking in interpersonal skills that they believe including a cover letter trashing a home will make a Seller look more favorably on their low ball offer.  I work with several investors, so I don't get up in arms about low-ball offers on my listings. It's simple business. You either work it out, or you don't.  However, when the other agent tries to bully the negotiations with an opening salvo, it just starts the negotiations off in a combatitve manner, and even the most deperate Seller would rather let the bank take the house then let you steal it off them.

I've never once negotiated a price reduction by telling the Seller their house is a ****hole.  I have negotiated significant price reductions with "This is what we can offer, would a quicker settlement/no inspections/etc make this a workable offer for you?"

Some people/Buyers/Agents are either bullies, or just stupid. 

Posted by Heather Oberhau, Bucks County Real Estate, e-PRO (Prudential Fox & Roach) almost 11 years ago
Randy,  I think you are taking this too personally.  This is simply a sign of the times.  Comparable offers were made during the price run-up and what you are seeing is just how buyers act dueing the reverse kind of market.
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 11 years ago

Pretty typical.  They read the news and believe that all sellers are desparate. 

For rediculous offers, the only sensible response is to counter back at higher than list price.

The rest can just be REJECT ed and fax page 1 back. 

The scavengers are out.  

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

It seems that agents are letting the buyers/sellers take the lead. With so much competition (locally), I can see where an agent would try and hold onto the prospect. It still is no excuse to put professionalism and common sense to the back seat. Here, in South Florida it is a fact; inventory is high, demand is low to moderate- foreclosures, short-sales, etc. are becoming common-place.

I've had several calls from wannabe investors looking to pay 50 cents on the dollar of market value. I don't have the patience to deal with this type of "bottom dweller".

We must present all offers- even the most ridiculous!

Posted by Aventura | Bal Harbour | Sunny Isles Beach | REALTOR® 786-229-7999 (SIB REALTY, Llc // WaterWayRealty.com) almost 11 years ago
I agree it is a waste of time but the agent (who is probably an investor) wouldn't do it if it didn't work.
Posted by Jacoob almost 11 years ago
Frustrating... and what you said "because there are more buyers who are reading the mainland news and think the sellers are desperate here" is what I believe is happening as well. Some of the walk ins to our office are visitors from the mainland....thinking in that pattern.
Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 11 years ago
Randy, I am with so many that have commented before me. Thank you MEDIA....Yes, there are many distressed markets right now, but many that are not. Buyers need to feel like they are really getting a deal and many make low, low offers, in hopes that they will get "the one deal".  I would be as frustrated as you are. It sounds like you have done your homework on your listing. Best of luck!
Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) almost 11 years ago
This is very aggravating and unprofessional.  Offer should be submitted with all of the proper paperwork and be legible.  As far as them being ridiculously low, sometimes that cannot be helped.
Posted by Sarah Berger (R.J. Smith Realty/Real Estate Solutions) almost 11 years ago

Last week I was contacted by an investor buyer who wanted to buy some rental properties. Thursday I submitted 5 offers for her, Friday another one. Out of the six, only 2 countered. And that surprised me!

Why/ Because the were all about HALF the list price! I tried showing her what other houses in the area sold for, but she is convinced the market is so bad for sellers she can name her price. I got the impression she has worn at least one other realtor out!

This morning, after a discussion with my broker,I am DROPPING her. Something I never thought I would do, being in real estate only one year. but you know what? It feels good to not be that desperate for business. 


Posted by Ann Cordes almost 11 years ago

Investors work the numbers, sending out low ball offers on multiple properties.  They know most will be rejected, but the one that works nets great profit.

Retail Buyers listening to the media have strong opinions about not paying list price and wanting to make low ball offers as well.  Despite counseling, buyers would rather believe the media and try to buy a bargain, even when the home is priced competitively.  I agree with that sellers need to know that these low offers will come in, and not to react emotionally.

Good post! WB

Posted by Wendy Baldwin, Columbus OH Real Estate, 614-433-0008 Residential, (Baldwin Realty Group, LLC) almost 11 years ago
The low ball offer is here to stay for while.  A couple of years ago it was the opposite with the Seller's in the drivers seat.  So you have buyer's that read the news which has driven the way the public thinks.  It's like a heard of cattle, they all act a like and move in a group. So we will have low ball offers for a while. It doesn't bother me, I just present the offer to my clients and tell them not to react it's just business. I to have clients that want a screaming deal and yes they can waste your time.  Then after five offers they are not buying the house of ther dream and they wake up.  A long comes a home that represents value and they pay what it's worth because they have to have it.  I am also seeing some screaming deals so you have to play the game is is just a different market. With prices so high in Hawaii now they are coming down and people can actually afford a home for the first time.
Posted by Steven NIckens almost 11 years ago
I think we are all seeing these low offers come in. I now tell agents in advance that the sell is open to offer but let them know that the seller will not entertain offers below "X".
Posted by Steve Glose, TRC, CIPS, 407-616-7286, Orlando Real Estate, Orla (Keller Williams Classic Group) almost 11 years ago
It seems that seasoned agents are doing the job of the buyers' agents more often than not.  Sometimes when I counter I have to totally clean up the original offer.  I love the idea of countering a low-ball offer back with a super high price.  It would totally freak them out, but maybe prove a point. If the property is well-priced to begin with, a low offer doesn't make sense. Buyers have a hard time understanding this at times.
Posted by Gretchen Faber, LifeStyleDenver (The Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek) almost 11 years ago
I try not to make these lowball offers personal because they are not. The seller has the best position in the fact they can accept,reject or counter any offer. Never lose that fact.
Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic (www.mrbrownsellsgr.com) almost 11 years ago

I think buyers are really looking for a steal.  And they usually end up missing out when they are insulting like that.  Buyers don't realize that they kill their chance at the "good deal" when they try to see what making a low offer will get them. 

I had one agent call me and asked if my sellers would take $225K for a $325K listing.  After I told her no way, she then proceeded to send me an email with the offer (just in case my sellers would re-think).  I don't know what she was thinking???!!!???

Posted by Emily Lowe, Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty) almost 11 years ago

I beieve in preparing the sellers for the worse, always have. It's important to be honest up front so they don't hold it against you later. Preparing them in advance of what could possibly happens always makees it easy to say "I am sure you recall, I warned you this can happen." Sounds like more of the old days again.

Posted by Patrick Lambert, Hawaii Real Estate Expert (ALLY Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

By law as Realtors we must write any offer our buyer wants, BUT to do the job we must make sure both buyer or seller knows the repercusions of listing a home too high or makeing a totally ridiculous low ball offer.  Personally I like having an agent call and ask if my seller will take a 50% offer so I can say no, I represent the seller!  When I represent the buyer and they want to make an offer like that the conversation gets very serious and off comes the kid gloves, they need to know that the seller will most likely not even respond to the offer and having been "tweaked" will expect the next offer to be full price.

At the height of the market we had 101 agents in our city, now we have 60, most of those who are no longer in Real Estate use to bring the most ridiculous offers....although we still do get them.  No matter if the market is slower, who has the time to waste on offers that are going nowhere????????

Posted by Cathy & Gary Elmore (Coldwell Banker Tomlinson N) almost 11 years ago

Missy - I guess if they do enough of them they feel they will steal one.

Laura - Even though our market is not like that, there are buyers who think it is.

Charles - I hope they did not require you to telegraph the acceptance like mine did.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Sandra W. - That is a nice way of saying get lost.  LOL

Suzanne S. - Thank you.  It is the truth.

Mike N. - That may be true, but at what cost to your reputation.  Could you have made the 50K finding other clients with the time spent?

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Neal - Besides being an insult, I have yet to see one of these folks submit a clean executable contract.

Dorene - I thought it best showed my feelings.

Gary W. - If they were a professional they would.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
Randy, this market is making the goofballs rise to the surface. It's really silly to counter these stupid offers, but in our market, we have to at least try to put the deal together because buyers are few and far between. What truly bothers me is when we have worked to put together an amazing counter, the buyer will often just walk away, because they can - and we wonder if the next buyer, weeks later, will do the same. My sellers are distressed. I'm at a loss. The buyer's agent is embarrassed and upset for wasting everyone's time. Having a lot of inventory is not fun at this time for buyer or seller's agents.
Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) almost 11 years ago

The shoddy work is more offensive then the low-ball offers... buyers will always try to make/save money.  I have no problem writing pre-approval letters for clients, knowing that there was high likelihood the offer won't be accepted, since it gives me a chance to continue to build the relationship.  The good news is that if the seller isn't desperate, they don't have to accept.

Posted by Kevin Hancock, The Hancock Mortgage Team (Evergreen Home Loans) almost 11 years ago
        Have only seen a few contracts like this in the past few years.  Actually had to write up one for an agent for the buyer recently on one of my listings.  He didn't even know which party he represented in the transaction and paper work.  And so it goes........Drives one crazy.  And here in Wash. we must submit all offers also.
Posted by Kim Harris, Designated Broker/Owner/Sound Realty (Sound Realty) almost 11 years ago
Just recommend to the Seller to Counter the Offer...that is what the Buyer is looking for, anyway.  It is always a CAR situation...Counter, Accept, or Reject.
Posted by Jay almost 11 years ago
There are people out there looking for the best deal. They'll just keep making ridiculous offers until one accepts or they get tired!     
Posted by Christy Powers, Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) almost 11 years ago
There are a lot of bargain hunters out there right now.  They just want the best deal for the least money and because of all the bad press about the housing market, they figure every seller is on the verge of foreclosure. Not true at all, but this is what the buyers are looking for.  Every one I have talked to lately the first question out of their mouths is any good buys on foreclosures out there????  I just tell them they have to go to Phoenix to find them because our area hasn't been hit hard by the foreclosures yet.  They all hear declining markets and figure it is everywhere and it just isn't so.  Good luck, eventually a serious buyer will come along.  
Posted by Sandra Paulow almost 11 years ago
Randy they believe the news media and think the the sky is falling all over the place, but is troubling is that their Realtors (who should know better) play the game along with them.
Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 11 years ago

I'm waiting for Brett to step in and say that there are no low ball offers, and anything offered by an investor is fair and proper. 

And Ron... the purpose of an inspection is to discover hidden defects.  There have been court cases about obvious and/or disclosed defects in inspections... resulting the buyer losing EM (and occasionally more) for not following through when their inspection only uncovered disclosed problems and obvious defects.  

So, if the LA is doing their job, and they get a pre-listing inspection and follow through with a thorough documentation of the defects, you might find yourself buying a property OVER list. 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

I have, unfortunately, been working with those buyers who think it is a "buyers market" because of media hype.  I am to the point that it is time to recommend they find another agent to work with.

Posted by Tony Brust almost 11 years ago
Don't take it personally Randy. Buyers (and agents) are paying thousands of dollars for systems that promote these kinds of tactics.
Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) almost 11 years ago
I'm finding that all buyers and a lot of agents think every listing on the market is a short-sale/preforeclosure.  While that may be the case for some homeowners, it is certainly not that way for most of our sellers.  Once these offers get past ridiculous, they get downright insulting.
Posted by Rhonda Burgess, Moving to Nashville TN Real Estate Specialist (Southern Living Realty Partners) almost 11 years ago
This is the way it is all over. We see the same things here in Arizona.
Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago
I had an agent send over an offer on a listing about 30% below list price, with "comps" to prove the house was overpriced. When I asked her why she did not use the four comps I presented to her, she tried to tell me they weren't good comps. They were on the same road as her comps, but she just chose to ignore them to "justify" her buyers price. We told her to take a hike and come back with a serious offer. Never heard from her again. Goes to show you that an agent can kill the deal with faulty data.
Posted by Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent (Kirby Fine Homes) almost 11 years ago

Ok Lane..you asked..and ye shall receive...You know we don't use AR anymore so I never hear about things like this until someone emails me. Most of the time we ignore such BS but in this instance I just wanted to say thank you.

I only wish you had a listing in Florida. Once your listing expired wirthless I could actually do a deal with a truly misrepresented Seller. So I thank you..most of whom here still use the term "low-ball offer" get what they deserve.

I'm not going on any soapbox..like I said..in this market I don't need to. There is so much manna out there that there is no need to engage with agents who still think there is such a thing as a low ball offer in this market.

Continue with your fantasies, and I'll continue to buy and sell properties, at prices that make sense to me and the buyers we represent and sell to. We love when we get calls from agents right before their listings expire asking us to help them out.

While you are commenting and lamenting about perceived low ball offers, we're at closings cashing checks (big ones) and speaking to banks and homeowners who actually want to do deals. We're not in business to posture with Sellers. When they want to sell they call us. When agents need to sell, they call us. Funny in time of need how fast they lose their religion and there is no talk of a so called low-ball offer.

So no Lane, ..I'm not going to come in and ruin the party here. Keep on thinking what you will, I have no desire to interrupt you or persuade you otherwise. Enjoy yourself. Keep up the fireside chat going on here talking down the perceived low ball offer.

It's just a shame you are'nt here in South florida, I'd love to feed off of your unsold listings.

Posted by Real Estate Investing |Real Estate Investment (| Real Estate Radio USA) almost 11 years ago


It can be very frustrating to deal with incomplete anything, especially in a real estate transaction where so many forms and wording has to be just right for everyone's protection. To make an offer today without a mortgage lender's pre-approval is a no-no, I thought.

Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 11 years ago
Oh do I hear you.... just had an agent write $40,000 low on a home already $40,000 under the comps - and then started lecturing me on pricing - she changed her tune when I pulled a few of her listings and wanted to compare them with the home she was writing on..... it fell apart
Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
I understand the low-ball, talk down the property method of negotiating. Just want to see what the sellers willing to do.  But, the incomplete, unsigned, out of date paperwork  is inexcusable.
Posted by Steve Hermann (Coldwell Banker Heritage REALTORS) almost 11 years ago

Before you grab for the tomatoes... I have to agree, We are professionals. Fill out the proper forms in the correct way and keep emotion out of it. Now for offers, I'm sorry but isn't the value of a home based on what sellers and buyers agree too? Mabey a lowball offer is not that bad of a price. I said mabey ok!

As far as wasted time yes , I agree. I submitted a low ball offer last month. It was $320,555 on $349,900 house. The counter offer was full price and subject removal date bumped back a week. Talk about insulting to the buyer. They are so mad they no longer want to buy. The sellers reduced by $5,000 two weeks later and sold for $333,000 so, my low ball offer was not that bad.  Besides, I valued the property at $137,000

Great post

Posted by Tom Ikonomou, Pro-active Real Estate Marketing (RE/MAX City ) almost 11 years ago

Randy -- "Slick offer disease" has apparently spread throughout the country.  We had one come in a month ago that was nearly $130,000 below list price (on a home that was listed in the mid-200s.

Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) almost 11 years ago
Randy - your post brings back bad memories - I have had those offers, too.  Your bottom line on this post is the bottom line.
Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) almost 11 years ago

Cindy J. - I find I do the other agents job many times, because I want to be sure my client does not get short changed.

Susan M. - In the case of the two I mentioned 10% wouldn't even make a dent.

Richard L. - Either don't know or don't care.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Audrey - I firmly believe that if you want to get the buyer the best deal possible it begins with a clean, executable contract.

Ron P. - If you hand me an offer on a napkin and you are a licensed agent, you should have your licensed pulled.  I am not in a declining market so offers 20%- 50% below market value is plain ridiculous.  Then you add in the insults about the condition of the home, etc.  Now you are wasting our time and being obnoxious.

Michael S. - I couldn't agree more.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Dan H - I opened escrow this morning on that 5 bedroom house.  Not everyone is an idiot and we received a couple of reasonable offers.

Lori G. - Many of those agents won't be around long if they do not learn.

Kathy M. - Another low class act.  Of course those multiple offers are all extremely low.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Vickie N. - There are those who not listen to anyone.

Patricia K. - I had the option of hand delivering it to a PO Box.

LaShawn - I can do that.  Instead I give the silly offers over the phone or e-mail them to my clients and let them know about them.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

We get these all the time too, when the buyers want to offer insultingly low we like to say that if the seller is willing to take $250K then they would have listed it around $250K  (not $400K+)!!!

And then they (the buyers) wonder how the seller doesn't want to deal with them when they want to bring in a more decent offer...


Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Heather O. - I agree, if you are going to offer low, than make everything else attractive to the seller.

Bill G. - A contract on a 25 or 30 year old document and insults really have no place here.  It is not personal to me; it is a pain in the neck though.

Lenn H. - I like the above asking counter.  The big problem is I would need to draw up new docs, since the original offer was not even executable.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mott M. - I will not work with them either.  Let the inexperienced cut their teeth and wreck their reputation.

Sarah B. - When out standard purchase contract is 12 pages long, plus addendums; a 2 page offer that is missing signatures is ridiculous.  They are just messing with us.

Ann C. - I know of a few buyers out there that have gone through a few agents.  I had one a couple of years ago; a good personal friend.  While showing property he mentioned that he went through six agents when he bought his last home.  I told him I could see how that might have happened.  I spoke honest and direct with him.  We have since done a few transactions and he has sent me a couple of good referrals.  He has become a great client.  The problem was the previous agents were afraid to speak frankly with him.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Ricky & Wendy - When working with buyers I tell them up front, I do not have standard advice.  I base it on the asking price vs. the market value and factor in their needs and wants.  If they tell me I want his property above all others, my advice on pricing may be different than they would like it if they get a great deal on it.

Steven N. - In many of the areas I am working the prices have actually seen increases.

Steve G. - In the one case I let the buyer's agents know we have multiple offers.  They still sent me a silly contract that was not even close to legal and an offer below anything I could have imagined.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Gretchen - To re-write the entire contract and have my client sign it, just to prove a point would not be a smart move.  (It would be fun though)

Robert B. - The offers I am referring to are not just low, they are not properly written and usually are accompanied with insults about the property.

Emily L. - I am sure they didn't think she was going to get the deal.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Patrick L. - Even after warning them, it is sometimes tough to have to go to them with an offer that is obviously game playing.

Cathy & Gary - In our market we have closer to 6500 agents.  You can guess how many are doing weird stuff.

Dawn - I hope we do not get to that level in our market.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Kevin H. - Low is not as bad as stupid.

Kim H. - Even if the law did not require it, I would still present all offers.

Jay - It is hard to counter an offer that has no virtue at all.  No loan letter, missing signatures, not on proper forms, low dollar amount.  And a letter insulting the sellers.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Christy P. - I have one guy who sends me a super low ball on almost every listing I get.  He must send out 100s of them.

Sandra P. - We have the same situation here.

George S. - I can tell you, I have zero respect for those agents.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Lane B. - The one that killed me was after the home inspection the buyers asked for a credit for paint and carpet.  Give me a break, there original offer was based on the condition of the paint and carpet.

Tony B. - If they want to run around insulting sellers and playing games; I am not the agent for them.

Wayne P. - I bet they did not offer half price for the seminar.  LOL

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Rhonda B. - Insulting the other side is no way to begin a relationship.

Bob & Carolin - In a tough market I am sure you get more of it.

Jennifer K. - I have seen that too.  I had one where they were pulling comps from another condo complex and ignored the sales in the same complex.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

The five bedroom home went into escrow this morning with a solid offer.  The other listing that received the telegraph requirement may be opening escrow tomorrow if our counter is accepted, which I think it will be.

Esko - If I were to recommend that one of those contracts be accepted, we would all wind up in court.  I would also be putting my license and reputation at risk.

Thesa - Not surprising is it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Steve H. - Even the beat down, makes no sense to me.  One of them I was in a multiple offer situation and just opened escrow this morning.

Tom I. - If you valued the property at $137,000 why did it sell for so much more?  Who was way off?

Eric K. - That is amazing.  Was it a hidden camera show?  LOL

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Virginia H. - Sorry for bringing back bad memories

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
More and more desparate sellers are accepting these offers in my area.  ANd then the buyer has a home inspection and the fun really begins.
Posted by Laura Moore Godek (Laura Moore Godek, PC) almost 11 years ago
Laura - Once they start they keep going.  I am glad I am not in a market where that is the norm.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
Ouch sounds like our market this past winter and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
Posted by asdf zcxv, Ann Arbor Area Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) almost 11 years ago

Unfortunately buyers think they can do this...thank you media...and we have Realtors that aren't doing their job to educate the buyer and do the right thing. Trust me, you are not alone...ok...maybe a little worse :)


Posted by The Dave Ruwe Homes Team, Realtors (Re/Max Lakeshore) almost 11 years ago

Karen - Our market is not bad at all.  We still have a few folks that behave badly.

Dave - I know I am not alone.  Those who are firing them at me are sending them to many others.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Sorry, I meant $337,000


Posted by Tom Ikonomou, Pro-active Real Estate Marketing (RE/MAX City ) almost 11 years ago

Tom - That sounds a little better.  LOL

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

"By law as Realtors we must write any offer our buyer wants"

Is this true for all US Realtors?  I know in Alberta, unless we've actually signed a Buyer/Brokerage contract, we can REFUSE to WRITE any offer we think is a waste of time and tell them to go on their merry way.  However, we are required to PRESENT any WRITTEN offers.

Posted by James almost 11 years ago

James - I believe that is true almost everywhere.  I can refuse to represent someone.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

That's why we get paid the big bucks Randy; dealing with crap like this.

I get calls and emals pretty often from clueless er...I mean, ignorant of our market, people who still think you can buy land in Tennssee for 50 bucks an acre.

Posted by Jim Lee, Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH (RE/MAX Shoreline) almost 11 years ago

It is such a frustrating place to be in.  Buyers come to us as professionals and the area experts and refuse to listen to our advice about our LOCAL market.  Buyer's who are actually making offers are making rediculous offers and requests in my area too.  Education is the toughest job we have. 

Posted by Leslie Stewart, Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker (Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals) almost 11 years ago

Jim - You mean I can't buy for $50/ acre?  They lied on the infommercials.

Leslie - It is tough when there are so many outside forces giving out bad information.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Randy, Great post.

It can be extremely frustrating.  I try to prepare my clients beforehand as well.

Posted by Eric Egeland, SFR, e-PRO, CDPE (RE/MAX SUBURBAN) almost 11 years ago


I hear you!   You would think rejection is something they would try to avoid.  It can be very frustrating indeed for us and for our sellers.

Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) almost 11 years ago

Eric - I just received another bonehead one this morning.  Same bad contract as the others.

Allison - Extremely so.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

It's good to hear that you coach your clients beforehand so they don't take any low-ball offer personally.  I recommend my clients counter-offer as though it were a respectable offer, just to keep the "negotiations" going. Sometimes the buyers are just fishing and actually respond with a reasonable offer (and sometimes not)  :)

Posted by Mike Fotiou, Calgary & Area Real Estate (First Place Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mike - A low offer is not as bad as the ones I described that are not even serious. 

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

I have been practicing real estate for 3 decades and I have never seen so much of the kind of behaviors you describe as in the last year. I just love it when someone who has a whopping 12 months of sales experience ,  brings me a list of comparable sales with an offer to help make his case. I presume they figure I don't do homework when I list a property.

Posted by Trey Thurmond, College Station , Texas Homes (BCR Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Trey - I am amazed that they will come to an experienced agent and insult them and the sellers, then expect to get a positive response to their offer.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

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