NAR: Realtors seeing fewer low-ball offers
23 Apr 2012
Posted by Andrew Kantor 
When we moved to Virginia from Columbus, Ohio, we had a garage sale, and at 7:00 AM there were already people showing up. Yay! One man picked up an electric drill that was marked for $20. “Will you take $10?” he asked.
I looked at him. “Dude, it’s seven o’clock. Maybe later you can ask for a break.” Some people just automatically think they know a buyers’ market when they see it.
When people hear it’s a buyers’ market in housing, as you well know, they can often jump to extremes — making a $260K offer on something listed for $320K, and expecting the seller to kiss their rings in the bargain. (When I sold my house in Roanoke in 2009, the buyer asked us to recolor the mortar in the front of the house. Her parents had told her she could ask for anything she wanted. We declined.)
But now, says NAR (by way of Ken Harney over at the Washington Post), Realtors aren’t seeing quite so many of those low-ball offers.
A year ago, according to researchers at the National Association of Realtors, one out of 10 members surveyed in a monthly poll complained about low-ball offers on houses listed for sale.
In the latest survey — conducted in March among 4,500 agents and brokers across the country but not yet released — there were hardly any. Instead, the focus of volunteered comments has shifted to declining inventory levels — fewer houses available to sell — and multiple offers on well-priced listings.
And here’s the money quote:
Sellers who encounter the occasional outrageous low-ball offer reminiscent tell listing agents not to even bother with them. After all, there’s an excellent chance there will be a realistic offer shortly, maybe more than one.