With the real estate market seeing a down turn across the country, more and more seller's are receiving "low-ball" offers. I was reading the NY Times and found an article including a sample response letter for seller's. See the letter below and a link to the full article... happy selling!
Thanks so much for your note. I'm truly glad that you like our home as much as we do. You're right that my family and I have many great memories of this place, and we hope someday you will, too. And I just want you to know that I'm not insulted in any way by your offer. The fact is, none of us are very good at buying and selling homes. We don't do it often, and as much as we know we're not supposed to let emotions get in the way, it's hard not to. After all, few people buy or sell anything else as expensive as a home in their lifetimes.
That said, your offer disappointed me. You seem to believe that I'm not aware of how bad things are out there or that I'm in denial. But I do read the headlines, and I priced the house accordingly. I knew I might have to wait awhile to sell it.
I should point out that your data draws on what has already happened in the housing market. Instead, I'd ask you to consider what's about to happen.
One big reason for the falling prices is that it's harder to get mortgages. Lenders went from giving money to anyone with a pulse to demanding higher credit scores and larger down payments. All sorts of buyers simply couldn't make the numbers work anymore.
That may now change. Starting June 1, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy mortgages from lenders and help make it possible for them to lend more money, are loosening restrictions on the sorts of loans they'll buy in many markets. That is supposed to make it easier for people to buy a home with a down payment of 5 percent, or even less. Many more qualified buyers should mean more bids, and I'm willing to wait to see if it turns out that way.
I know you talked about having choices, but presumably we wouldn't be engaging in this correspondence unless you liked my home best. Given that, I'd ask you to think about something: How often do you find a place that you can actually imagine living in? Sure, there are a lot of other properties out there. But an increasing number are in foreclosure and probably have problems lurking within the walls. So don't let fear of a falling market keep you out of a home that you truly want. It's probably obvious by now that I'm not going to counter with a particular number. This doesn't mean that I do not want to negotiate. I'd just like you to consider what I've said and see if you find it convincing. In the meantime, other shoppers who are interested in my home now have a price to beat. So thanks for helping me out with that.
Just one more thing. Please take another look at whatever mortgage calculator you're using and see how your monthly payment will change if you brought your price up a bit. It almost certainly is not going to be enough to break you. But it may be enough to get us to a deal.
I look forward to your reply.
Yours, The Undaunted
Read Full NY Times Article: Negotiating for a House? Start With 'Dear Seller'