You've decided to sell your home. It's been de-cluttered, staged, priced according to the current market, and now all you need is a buyer.
Your agent calls you up with the first offer. "Brace yourself," he says, "It's not as high as we would have liked..."
At 30% below the asking price, it's not even in the ballpark, and frankly you're pissed. The house has never looked better, it's priced smartly, you're insulted by the nerve of this lowball offer. So, how do you handle it? Your first reaction is to instruct your agent to tell this person you're not interested, and not to come back until they have something more realistic.
Even though this is your first offer, what if it's your last? What if this person is a serious buyer, but just testing the waters to see how low you will go?
It's up to your agent to act as negotiator, treat every offer seriously, and do everything he can to keep the deal on the table. Even a ridiculous offer should be countered. Whether it's only a 1% decrease, the bid should be acknowledged.
By keeping the deal alive, at least you have a better chance of coming to an agreement, closing a deal and moving on.
For more information about dealing with lowball offers, read: Denver Home Sellers: Every Offer is a Good Offer.