Started a direct mail campaign.

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I started a direct mail campaign. I’ve gotten several responses, the latest being someone wanting close to retail price for the house. It’s move in ready. Do you even bother making a counter offer? How do you handle these situations? I’m thinking to just tell them I would have to be much lower and thank them and ask them if they know anyone else that may be interested in selling. I’d be interested in your thoughts and how you handle this?

Why would you not make a counter offer at a reasonable price? The worst they can say is no. Be respectful and honest and tell them where you'd come in. At the very least it's practice for you with making offers. 

I did that just yesterday. "I agree with your original number, comps show it's worth $X, but noting that that price would be for updated, marketable condition. As you know, I walked the property the other day and noted the following about the condition: (list the items you'd need to fix). I know you haven't seen the property in a while, and I'll be happy to share my pictures and line item budget with you. I estimate the updates to cost about $Y-$Z. I'm offering to buy without a broker and cover closing costs, which means I can offer you $A."

The owner I was talking to didn't want to hear the number $A, but it's the honest truth that that's the best price I could offer, and very fair for the property's condition. He didn't take it, but I'll keep following up with him until he makes a decision :) I would love to give him his asking price, but I'm not in the business of losing money so others can get the price they want!

@Nick Dunin any update for us? When I ran into this issue I always told them I cant make an offer over the phone without seeing the property. However I could do some research on the comps and give them a ball park of where I might be. Now that being said if they have a lot of equity or motivation I'd schedule an appointment and just cross my fingers. I'd also love to know what type of list you mailed.