General Question

rojo's avatar

Is offering $157,000 for a home listed at $162,500 and that has been on the market for 118 days unreasonable and why would you not counteroffer if you rejected it?

Asked by rojo (21961points) September 30th, 2011

This happened this week and is in Texas. Present owners are not in having forclosure problems but are maintaining two homes in two different cities while trying to make a move.

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21 Answers

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wundayatta's avatar

Offering 157K is fine. The owners are not required to consider the offer seriously. My guess is that they think you are lowballing them. Maybe they have come down a long way since they first put the house on the market.

Do you really want the house? Offer 160 and see what happens. When you’re only a few thousand apart, it’s really a game more than being about the money. It isn’t going to change your mortgage much.

JLeslie's avatar

Did it say on the listing they are firm on the price? Did you run the comps? Is the price a good price already? Did they list it only a week or two ago? I’m not sure why they did not counter, had they received another contract at the same time as yours? Did your realtor talk to the other realtor to see why there was no counter? It costs them money every month to hold the house, once you get a little feedback you could put in an offer for $160k as @wundayatta said, again depending on the feedback.

CWOTUS's avatar

If they’re serious sellers and this is a serious offer (with funding), then they’d be foolish to hold out for more.

Typical first-time purchase offers are not so close to the asking price in my experience.

If the house has been on the market that long without selling, I’d start the bidding under 150 K. But I don’t know the Texas real estate market, either.

rojo's avatar

@JLeslie no, the ad did not say firm, the price is good, but not great, there are new ones out there for about the same sf price as offered, it was listed 118 days ago. Their realtor did not indicate to mine that they had another offer bu they are supposedly looking at other options. Have no serious problems with 160k but do not fathom the lack of a counter.
@CWOTUS the housing market is a buyers market at this time and although I would have loved to be below 150k I thought that it would be unreasonable and somewhat insulting.

JLeslie's avatar

@rojo You handed them a written offer?

keobooks's avatar

If the house is in foreclosure or on a short sale, sometimes the owners have no say in what they are allowed to take. My husband and I looked at a house that was listed at 89k last year. We didn’t low ball. We offered a straight up 89k for the house because there were 2 other bidders.

We all got rejected because the bank refused to sell. Even though the house was listed at 89, they suddenly decided that they wouldn’t take less than 102k or it. Nobody was willing to go that high. We ended up buying a house with 1000 square feet more for 103 in a similar neighborhood.

What’s really sad is that the house went into foreclosure at the end of the week. It went up for auction and didn’t sell then. It’s now listed again for 79k—10k less than what they originally wanted for it.

I think if the OWNERS had a say in things, we would have had the house. But the banks were pulling the strings and totally ruined the deal.

rojo's avatar

@JLeslie Yep, written offer, my realtor is looking into it further. And, we are looking at other properties now. Have not totally written them off but covering my bases.

rojo's avatar

@keobooks Could be something to this but my realtor did not indicate it was in foreclosure and she has been and is pretty good about keeping me in the loop.
I thought we made a reasonable offer and I understand that no-one is required to take an offer, I was mainly confused about the lack of a counter-offer.

JLeslie's avatar

@rojo Even if they don’t counter, their realtor should let your realtor know they are not countering. There shouldn’t be a zero reply; dead silence. There should be a courtesy in replying to your offer in some fashion. When did you hand in the offer?

rojo's avatar

@JLeslie They did reply, the reply was that they were not accepting the offer. The realtor then offered that they were looking at other options.

rojo's avatar

@JLeslie Thinking about it, I guess this is an answer. Time to move on to other properties?

JLeslie's avatar

@rojo Right, that is the answer. You can always try again in a few weeks if it is still on the market. They probably have come down a lot in price, and cannot fathom taking less. You could ask your realtor to take a hit, and the listing agent, reduce their commissions by 1% each, that would be $3k. If you really want the house.

CWOTUS's avatar


It’s your money. There’s no reason not to lowball the offer if the sellers can’t find a buyer at their price. Obviously, that’s not “an acceptable price to the market”, or they’d be fielding offers already in that neighborhood.

“Insulting” has nothing to do with it. You might wake them up to the reality that their beloved property is not worth what they’re asking for it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I would say that is a solid offer, but if there’s any question about down payment, or the other fees, I would offer the list price on the condition that the sellers pays all closing costs.

Blueroses's avatar

Usually the buyer’s and seller’s realtors communicate well with each other as both are working for the commission and each wants to spend as little time as possible firming a deal so their time/commission ratio is more profitable for both.
No counter-offer negotiations indicates unmotivated seller’s realtor or difficult owners who aren’t highly motivated to communicate with their realtor.
If it’s the “buyers market” in your area, you should move along and you’ll probably find something even better.

gailcalled's avatar

An acquaintance of mine just offered $430k for a house listed at 485K and clearly overpriced.

The owners turned it down and immediately pulled the house off the market. I think that they were testing the waters and unconcerned about wasting the time of a lot of people.

The realtor was also not helpful. When asked how deep the well is, she responded, “Deep enough to take a shower.” Flippancy around here.. the land of flooding, power-outages and impassible roads… is not endearing.

Who knows what kind of deal she and the seller had cooked up? (The Shadow knows.)

Judi's avatar

It sounds like a great offer to me. Especially if it’s been on the market 118 days. Have they had any price reductions in that time? Some sellers are just stubborn. I’m sure their Realtor encouraged them to accept the offer. I would say move on. Even if they were to come around it sounds like you might be in for a nightmare transaction with these people anyway.

downtide's avatar

I think it would be a great offer, the only reasons I can think of that they might not accept or counter-offer is that they truthfully don’t actually want to sell, or are trying to sell under what they feel is an obligation. Or else they paid 162k for it and damned if they’re gonna make a loss.

sleepdoc's avatar

We just recently bought a home in Texas. We offered about 5% less than the asking price. We ended up buying at about 2.5% less than the listing price. But our realtor had run us comps for the neighborhood. We know what the average ppsf was for homes that sold in the area and what percentage of the offering price homes were selling for. We even had a ballpark on where the estimate was going to come in at. Those all help in knowing what to make of your offer.

geeky_mama's avatar

@rojo – This sounds almost EXACTLY like the situation we had. We made what we felt was a very fair offer on a house, slightly less and they didn’t counter.
We were very surprised, and communicated this through our Realtor to the sellers. We got back this lonnnng email about how they’d put so much effort into the house (blah blah blah) – and I remember being really unhappy at the time..because I thought that house was “the one”.

Time went by, we found a MUCH better house and our offer was accepted. Honestly, the house we found (and bought) was far nicer and looking back, I’m eternally grateful they didn’t accept our offer.
After we were in contract to buy our house the other guy came back (months later) and said: “OK, we’ve reconsidered and would like to discuss a counter offer with you.” We declined—we were just 2 weeks away from closing on our home.

In our case we found out long after the fact that there was more to the story. It turned out that a man and his parents had bought an “investment” house (I guess they watched one too many “Flip This House” episodes on TLC and got big ideas)..and as the son worked on the house (putting in new appliances, painting rooms, putting in new carpet) he started liking the investment house more than his own house in a nearby town. When it came time to sell he kept pushing his parents to not accept offers..and it was ultimately because he had an ulterior motive. He wanted the house.

He ended up selling his other house and convincing his parents to sell him the house at a bargain amount. So, they were NEVER going to sell at a fair market price to someone else..because the son was manipulating the situation.

So, move on and don’t worry about it. Who knows..maybe they think the job in the new city isn’t going to work out and are having cold feet about selling the house. Maybe they are thinking about renting it out as a backup plan in case they want to settle there again in the future. You can’t know—but what you CAN tell about their failure to counter offer is that they are not truly serious about selling.

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