Making A Low-ball Offer

From “Ask Kit!”:

Q: A B&B we are looking at that’s for sale, but not listed with a realtor, seems priced high. And the owner has told me that they have not really been trying to market or book the property. How do I present them with an offer at considerably lower price without insulting them?

A: That’s one of the challenges in buying a B&B many buyers face. Any time you offer a much lower price than the seller is asking, you are risking insulting them. But as Donald Trump says, “it’s not personal, it’s business”. If you have done your homework and present your offer from that perspective, then if they choose to feel insulted there’s not much you can do about it.

And if they choose to feel insulted by a business-based offer, they aren’t going to be easy to deal with and you have to decide if you want to proceed or walk away. I have had several clients make low-ball offers and most of them have suffered the consequences one way or another when they pursued the purchase. It’s a rare seller who chooses to feel insulted initially and then be reasonable to work with as you proceed through the sale. Generally, low-ball offers don’t go anywhere — they die on the vine.