Finding the Right House
Not all homes are prime for lowball offers. Many sellers need to get a certain amount for the property in order to make back what they owe and have enough for a down payment on a new property. If your offer is so low the seller will lose money, you may struggle to receive a positive response. If, on the other hand, the seller has a lot of equity in the home and can afford some wiggle room, your chances of having the offer accepted increase.
So how can you spot these properties? You will need to do a little homework, or find a realtor who can do it for you. Find out how long the property has been on the market, how long the current owners have had it, and whether or not there is a pending foreclosure.
If the property has been on the market for a few months without a drop in price, the seller may already be considering dropping the price, making your low offer seem more appealing. If it has just been listed, the seller may want to wait for a while before accepting a low offer.
If the seller has owned the home for a long time, chances are higher that there is equity in the property to give you same wiggle room in your offer. If the seller has owned the home for five years or less, this chance decreases.
Sellers that are facing foreclosure are the most likely to accept a low offer. Sometimes you will need to work with the bank if the offer is less than what is owed, a process known as a short sale, but selling the home for a low price is usually better for all involved than letting it go into foreclosure.
If you cannot find this information, start looking for houses that are empty. If the seller has already moved, chances are that he or she wants to unload that unused property. Accepting a low offer will be better than continuing to pay a mortgage on a property that is no longer needed.