seller very upset over offer

22 Replies

Hey everyone,

Ran into a situation today where an offer I made was not only denied but followed up with a lengthy email about how I am a scam artist and that if I'm not serious about buying the home than she is a business owner in town and is going to spread word about me.

Anyone run into this situation?  What is the best way to handle this.  Trying not to get too worked up but just starting out and trying to get this going the last thing I want is my reputation damaged by saying I'm a scam artist.  Plus my reputation means a lot to me in general.

Any input would be greatly appreciated

@Corey Hassan  i would not worry about sellers being mad at you over a low offer,
why dont you post the numbers here and you can get some info from other investors

good luck 

@Corey Hassan  

Surely as a business owner she understands you too are in business and, to assure your continued success, need to acquire inventory in a cost effective manner ;-)

If she did not counter, but only sent you a rant.  I allow a few days to pass for her to mull it over and then follow-on with a phone call.   If you receive an earful, stay calm and politely end the call by telling her that if or when she might like to negotiate, please feel free to get in-touch.   Then move on to a better use of your time.

I remember a podcast I heard where a recent RE business hired an assistant from another local realtor, and that realtor started spreading untrue rumors around town about his business in retaliation.  He followed up with sending them brownies and a nice note that created a tranquility and peace between the two business'.  You could do the same. Send over a box of cookies or brownies with a nice note saying your here to help the community and the industry. See where that goes.  

@Aaron Thivierge @Mark Brogan  @Roy N.  

Thanks for the responses.  I am thinking about sending her an email apologizing for offending her and letting her know that was not my intention, and not per say what I thought the value of the home is, but just what a cash buyer would be interested in buying it for.

The house was about 1100 sq feet, needs a new roof, new siding, all carpets replace, tile in kitchen is fine, kitchen cabinets were redone so they're fine, but ceiling has water damage on the inside too which needs to be replace.  Window also need to be replaced.  2 bed 1.5 baths house is a ranch/rambler in a smaller town

I would not "apologize" for making a business decision.  Yes, write a letter, but you have nothing to apologize for when mending that fence.  

Originally posted by @Corey Hassan :

@Aaron Thivierge @Mark Brogan  @Roy N.  

Thanks for the responses.  I am thinking about sending her an email apologizing for offending her and letting her know that was not my intention, and not per say what I thought the value of the home is, but just what a cash buyer would be interested in buying it for.

The house was about 1100 sq feet, needs a new roof, new siding, all carpets replace, tile in kitchen is fine, kitchen cabinets were redone so they're fine, but ceiling has water damage on the inside too which needs to be replace.  Window also need to be replaced.  2 bed 1.5 baths house is a ranch/rambler in a smaller town

 Based on it's condition & to regain some 'credibility' with her I would write an apologetic but not condescending response. However, I would intimate to her that your offer was based purely on the poor condition of the home & your 'limited experience' in the true cost of a complete rehab. Explain to her that you only want to ensure that you had adequate funds to make the home something someone would be proud to reside in again.

good luck

People can become irrational and a little crazy, especially when they are dealing with something they are emotionally invested in.  I don't know what this person's situation is, but I'm willing to bet that her response is based on something else going on in her life and your offer was the trigger that set her off.  In my day job I negotiate with people every day.  If negotiations become emotional I tell them that my offer is based on pricing of alternative products in the market and that my price is just my opinion of what the value of their product is.  This way you bring it back to value of the product and not value of the person behind the product.  I would not apologize because then you are putting feelings back into negotiations and you are keeping the seller tied to her emotions.  You need to keep the attention where it belongs, on the product.  

Congratulations! That is a good sign you are making offers that are low enough. 

I have never been offended by someone offering me money. I always have the right to say no. Sounds like you have a sensitive seller on your hands.....she will get over it. 

People get "funny about their money".

You need a thick skin in this business.

There is something called "defamation of character" and if she puts things in writing that you have documented about how she is going to ruin you she is not smart. Now if this is a rural "good ole boy" type town they are disconnected from society sometimes and do not follow the laws.

I wouldn't worry about it to much. A property is just a property to me.

No legal advice given. 

@Corey Hassan I wouldn't really be too concerned. Anyone with decent business acumen does not get personally offended over offers, they counter with their own terms. I would respond to her email spelling out your reasoning and just say that the price you offered was what you needed to offer to achieve your desired ROI. You do not need to apologize.

I'd be tempted (but wouldn't do it), to increase  my offer to her price, but with seller financing at $1 per month until paid off.  

Emotionally attached. See if you can find out why and use that in your favor... For example was she raised in that home? What does she like best about it? Worst? Then use it to your advantage in talking with her. With emotions that high she isn't selling anytime soon sounds like for anything less than what she feels it's worth. Let a few more people low ball her, get on her good side with brownies cookies, maybe even a gift card to a restaurant for lunch or something... and you'll win out on the end with great reviews from her and the property. I'm doing the same thing locally with a duplex that was owned by the sellers father and it hasn't been occupied in years. However she is married to it. I offered to take her to lunch and we could discuss further but hasn't taken me up on my offer yet.

@Jon Klaus  hilarious....But don't you think that would be a little high of an offer?

Anyway, in this business it is going to happen. Like the latest blog post I just read, "You are going to get sued...." Things like this will happen. People will not like an offer, think you cheated them etc etc. Just do your business the right way and be above reproach so that when you get accused, no one can prove their false accusations. Welcome to the business world! My parent's 25 yr business wouldn't have been interesting without a few lawsuits and badmouthing, it just meant they were business owners with business get sued over.

agree with @Ned Carey   looks like you are doing the right thing by making such a low offer and sticking to your guns.

On one hand, you could ignore her and this whole thing could probably blow over but I also like your idea of sending cookies.  You and the seller already have a personal connection now and maybe in a twist of fate she can reverse her feelings about you and sell you the house.  Maybe you can guilt her over writing that nasty letter after showing her your rational analysis of the house.

Yep "good things can come to those who wait" can happen.

Many investors want results now which nothing wrong with that but some sellers take cultivating a relationship and building it out to reap rewards. There is gold if you take some time to be patient and look for it and spot it.

I often go back to expired properties etc. Sometimes the sellers will take a really low price now to sell they have just given up and taken off the market. They are just waiting for someone to approach them in a nice way where they still maintain some dignity and feel like  they won on some level.

Perceived reality is they key. If someone perceives they got one over on me I really do not care at all. If I reached my goals the reality is that I won but I wouldn't let them know that.

It does sound like a case of emotional investment in the property.  

Since she has done some stuff like tile and cabinets in the kitchen, so she probably feels it is reasonably updated.  Things like roofs and carpets(which you should be taking in to account) will only be issues to the owner if they are really bad.  Also it is easy to overvalue a smaller house that will have a limited market.

I think an apology is a good idea.  You might offer in the apology to share your basic estimates - but sharing them wouldn't be my first approach.  It could well be that she agrees with you on the final value and the disagreement is related to how far the price is from that point.

@Joel Owens  that's years of experience talking right there - wish someone could have told that to me years ago  :)

It is definitely emotional. 

The response to any offer is yes, no, or counter. 

Guess she chose no. I can't imagine why anybody would not counter no matter what the offer was. if she is that proud of the home she should make a full price counter. Maybe her end result is not to sell the house. 

No apologies whatsoever.that is emotional attachment on her part.Just acknowledge her concerns with whatever rapport building you can do but remain within your maximum allowable offer.

Overall no big deal, you could eventually get the property

Ask questions. Ask the seller why does she thinks you are a scam, maybe if you understand what she is looking for you will be able to make her a better offer. Let her know you area concern about what she thinks about your offer, you can tell her that maybe you were looking at the wrong comps and that maybe if she could explain you how she got to the valuation she wants for her property you could see where did you do a mistake in your valuation (if any) or just her how you did come up with the value. Most likely she won't do anything but at least she will notice that you are concern and who knows maybe you could even get the deal done but at least you will definetly show that you care

Originally posted by @Ned Carey :

Congratulations! That is a good sign you are making offers that are low enough. 

 My thoughts exactly

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