Got a lowball offer on your Knoxville, Tennessee home for sale? Here’s how to handle it best

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 8:59 am, July 16th, 2010  

Fielding a Lowball Purchase Offer on Your Home

By: Marcie Geffner

Published 2010-06-10 09:53:36

Consider before you ignore or outright refuse a very low purchase offer for your home. A counteroffer and negotiation could turn that low purchase offer into a sale.

When you receive a low offer on your house, the best response is to counter with a price you’re willing to accept.

You just received a purchase offer from someone who wants to buy your home. You’re excited and relieved, until you realize the purchase offer is much lower than your asking price. How should you respond? Set aside your emotions, focus on the facts, and prepare a counteroffer that keeps the buyers involved in the deal.

Check your emotions

A purchase offer, even a very low one, means someone wants to purchase your home. Unless the offer is laughably low, it deserves a cordial response, whether that’s a counteroffer or an outright rejection. Remain calm and discuss with your real estate agent the many ways you can respond to a lowball purchase offer.

Counter the purchase offer

Unless you’ve received multiple purchase offers, the best response is to counter the low offer with a price and terms you’re willing to accept. Some buyers make a low offer because they think that’s customary, they’re afraid they’ll overpay, or they want to test your limits.

A counteroffer signals that you’re willing to negotiate. One strategy for your counteroffer is to lower your price, but remove any concessions such as seller assistance with closing costs, or features such as kitchen appliances that you’d like to take with you.

Consider the terms

Price is paramount for most buyers and sellers, but it’s not the only deal point. A low purchase offer might make sense if the contingencies are reasonable, the closing date meets your needs, and the buyer is preapproved for a mortgage. Consider what terms you might change in a counteroffer to make the deal work.

Review your comps

Ask your REALTOR® whether any homes that are comparable to yours (known as “comps”) have been sold or put on the market since your home was listed for sale. If those new comps are at lower prices, you might have to lower your price to match them if you want to sell.

Consider the buyer’s comps

Buyers sometimes attach comps to a low offer to try to convince the seller to accept a lower purchase offer. Take a look at those comps. Are the homes similar to yours? If so, your asking price might be unrealistic. If not, you might want to include in your counteroffer information about those homes and your own comps that justify your asking price.

If the buyers don’t include comps to justify their low purchase offer, have your real estate agent ask the buyers’ agent for those comps.

Get the agents together

If the purchase offer is too low to counter, but you don’t have a better option, ask your real estate agent to call the buyer’s agent and try to narrow the price gap so that a counteroffer would make sense. Also, ask your real estate agent whether the buyer (or buyer’s agent) has a reputation for lowball purchase offers. If that’s the case, you might feel freer to reject the offer.

Don’t signal desperation

Buyers are sensitive to signs that a seller may be receptive to a low purchase offer. If your home is vacant or your home’s listing describes you as a “motivated” seller, you’re signaling you’re open to a low offer.

If you can remedy the situation, maybe by renting furniture or asking your agent not to mention in your home listing that you’re motivated, the next purchase offer you get might be more to your liking.

More from HouseLogic

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Purchase Offer for Your Home

6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

Marcie Geffner is a freelance reporter who has been writing about real estate, homeownership and mortgages for 20 years. She owns a ranch-style house built in 1941 and updated in the 1990s, in Los Angeles.

“Visit for more articles like this. Reprinted from with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.”

Visit to find great homes for sale in the Greater Knoxville, Tennessee area.

It’s official! Homebuyers tax credit has been extended

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 9:23 am, November 7th, 2009  

Buy this terrific north Knoxville home and get up to $8,000 in tax credits to help.

Play VisualTour

It’s now official, President Obama signed an extension of the existing $8,000 homebuyers tax credit into law yesterday (Friday, Nov. 6th).

The new law extends the existing tax credit for Knoxville area buyers who have not owned a home that was their principal residence in the past three years and adds some new criteria and qualifying homebuyers.

The $8,000 credit was scheduled to lapse on December 1st, 2009 but will now be in effect through the end of June. Homebuyers must sign a contract before April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.

The income limits have been raised; Single buyers can now earn up to $125,000 and still get the full credit while a married couple can earn $225,000.

The bill also made more Knoxville, TN homeowners eligible to claim the credit on their taxes. First-time buyers — those who have not owned a home in the past three years — still qualify for an $8,000 rebate. But now people who want to trade up can also qualify. Those who have owned and occupied a residence for at least five years out of the past eight can claim a $6,500 tax credit if they close on a purchase by the end of June.

Some real estate industry experts weigh in on the extension:

“This bill will shift demand from the second half of 2010 into the first half,” said Pat Newport, a real estate analyst with IHS Global Research. “As a result, home sales and prices will get a boost in the first half of 2010, with payback in the second.”

“That’s not a bad thing, according to Bill Kilmer, vice president of advocacy for the National Association of Home Builders. It’s important to stabilize real estate markets quickly to help bring the economy out of its tailspin.”

The National Association of Realtors’ chief economist has this to say about the extension:

“The industry thought the credit would provide a ripple effect, with sales to first timers triggering as many three additional “move-up” sales.”

That did not happen, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“It did not have the chain reaction impact it was supposed to,” he said. “Instead, many first-timers turned to vacant, foreclosed or other distressed properties the sellers of which were unlikely to be move-up buyers.”

So, the tax credit helped prop up the low end of the market without having much impact on the rest of the spectrum. Expanding the benefit to existing homeowners should boost those segments. That should produce additional benefits, according to Yun.

“Preventing further price decline or even nudging prices up a bit stabilizes housing wealth, which makes homeowners more comfortable in their spending,” said Yun. “They’re more likely to go out to the stores or buy a new car. That provides a boost to the overall economy.”

So let’s get busy Knoxville and Farragut homebuyers, it’s not that long until April 30th. Visit today and pick out your favorite Knoxville area homes to go look at.

Call or email me with any questions of comments. (865) 693-3232

Knoxville and Farragut Tennessee homes for sale

Knoxville and Farragut Tennessee homes for sale

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Knoxville & Oak Ridge TN Farmer’s Markets open today

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 5:00 pm, April 18th, 2009  
Baked food
Image via Wikipedia

The Oak Ridge Farmer’s Market opened this morning at 8:00 am across from Jackson Square in Oak Ridge. My wife is a regular during the season so we were first in line this morning when the buying began promptly at 8:00. Nothing is allowed to be sold before then for some reason.

grand opening day at the Oak Ridge TN Farmer's Market.

grand opening day at the Oak Ridge TN Farmer's Market.

The Oak Ridge market is open Saturdays at 8:00 am and Wednesday afternoons at 3:30 until they sell out which happens typically in a couple of hours.

Tuesdays and Fridays most of the same farmers move over to Knoxville for one or both of the Knoxville Farmer’s Market in the parking lot of the Laurel Avenue Church of Christ on Kingston Pike across from the main entrance to Sequoyah Hills.

This is Shirley, she was Tennessee Beekeeper of the year recently.

This is Shirley, she was Tennessee Beekeeper of the year recently.

Shirley is one of my wife’s favorites; she always has a smile and a kind word not to mention some pretty awesome honey from her beehives. I love the Sourwood honey when it gets harvested in late spring.

In the early season there are lots of annuals, perennials, and herbs for sale.

In the early season there are lots of annuals, perennials, and herbs for sale.

Sheep's milk cheese is not only delicious but it's much easier to digest than cow milk cheeses.

Sheep's milk cheese is not only delicious but it's much easier to digest than cow milk cheeses.

Even though it’s early, local farms are producing green onions, spinach, lettuce, green garlic, red and white onions, turnips, radishes and asparagus along with potted herbs and flowers of all sorts.

This smiling farmer had lots of flowers for sale.

This smiling farmer had lots of flowers for sale.

We also buy free range eggs here along with grass-fed meats including smoked sausage, bacon, free-range turkey and chicken. Unfortinately the baked goods lady wasn’t here today but she has delicious breads, muffins, and other home baked goodies.

And across the street in the Jackson Square parking lot there was some toe tapping music from this trio.

Musicians entertain the Farmer's Market crowd in the early morning hours.

Musicians entertain the Farmer's Market crowd in the early morning hours.

Here's Shirley the beekeeper loading what looks like some fresh green onions into a customer's bag.

Here's Shirley the beekeeper loading what looks like some fresh green onions into a customer's bag.

Now that the market is open we’ll be making the Saturday morning trek over to Oak Ridge to buy some delicious fresh produce, honey, and other locally produced goods. One of the requirements for selling at this farmer’s market is that you actually have to be the farmer that produced it in order to sell it. The farmer’s market association makes the rounds to ensure that only local farmers that produce what they sell are allowed to participate.

If you’re around Knoxvill or Oak Ridge during farmer’s market hours stop on by and pick up a few things to take home. Once you do you’ll be hooked on the quality and freshness of the goods plus you’re supporting local farmers; a good deal for all.

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5 ‘Secrets’ to help you get a great deal on your next Knoxville home.

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 4:20 pm, October 27th, 2008  

KnoxvilleImage by Random Things Entering My Field of Vision via FlickrThese ‘secrets’ are also usually just as valid in Houston, Las Angeles, Miami, and Scranton as they are in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  1. Be on the lookout for “REDUCED” or “PRICE REDUCED” signs.  In my 30 years experience in the Knoxville market I’ve found that if a seller will come down once, they will come down again and often more than than.
  2. Look for “Fixer Uppers“. Watch for ad words like: “fixer-upper,” “potential,” “value in land,” “investment property,” “tender loving care,” “contractor’s special” and “as-is.”. These are often signs of a seller unwilling (or unable) to make an investment to fix up their property so it will sell faster. You can be their savior and take their problem off their hands; often at a greatly discounted price.
  3. Look for homes that a seller has owned for 10 years or more. Why? Because in a longer time period a seller has typically built up a substantial amount of equity in a home and maybe even paid off their mortgage. A $10 or 20,000 price reduction to someone like this is much easier to swallow than someone who bought last year with a 100% loan (100% loans are another story for another posting).knoxville tn average sales price per square foot
  4. Look for homes that a seller has owned for less than 2 years. Whoa, you just said in #3 above that 10 years was the magic number. That’s still true and it is. However, there have been lots of people that wanted to get in to the house “flipping” game in the past few years. Not all of them have been successful selling and are often willing to get that house payment off their hands at a good price for you.
  5. Look for houses that have been on the market for 4 months or longer. This is something easily determined by merely looking at the bottom of each listing brief where DOM stands for “days on market“. Lots of DOM can mean big DOLLARS in savings for you. You also need to have your Realtor search the property histories for listings you’re interested in. One of the favorite tricks listings agents use is to either let a listing expire or withdraw it and put it right back in again as new to start the DOM counter all over at zero.

great deals on homes for sale in the knoxville tennessee market, call jim lee buyers agent

    To help guide you through the ins and outs of home buying you need your own team on your side.The ‘quarterback’ of that team is your Realtor and ideally a Realtor who has earned the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The (ABR®) designation is the  benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded to real estate practitioners by the Real Estate BUYER’S AGENT Council (REBAC) of the National Association of REALTORS® who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.

    As always, is the “go to” website for greater Knoxville area homes, condos, land, and multi-family homes.

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Walking in Knoxville, Tennessee

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 11:45 am, May 9th, 2008  

Now that Knoxville gas prices have passed the $3.50 a gallon mark, the huge increases are a frequent subject of conversation (not to mention other words not printable here ;-0).

One way to escape paying the higher gas prices is simply to walk more to destinations. Lots of parts of Knoxville are not particularly “walker friendly” but many are.

Besides being a very healthful exercise, walking is also a great way to get places, especially if they’re nearby. Besides the wonderful fresh air and exercise you get walking, it’s a great way to meet your neighbors and others. I very rarely run into an unfriendly walker, most will wave to you, smile, and speak.

hiking in the great smoky mountains national park, a great walking activity

Don Anderson, one of my fellow Realtors, during a recent hike we enjoyed in the Great Smoky Mountains; hiking is a great walking activity.

Here’s a great website I located that lets you calculate your home or neighborhood’s “walk score“.

We moved last year from the Cedar Bluff Road area to the West Hills neighborhood. One reason we love our new West Hills home is because it’s so conveniently located to everything. According to we now live:

  • .71 miles from a grocery store
  • .22 miles from a restaurant (about 20 actually)
  • .23 miles from a coffee shop
  • .33 miles from Little Ricky’s Sports Bar
  • .80 miles from a movie theatre
  • .80 miles from West Town Mall
  • .31 miles from a school (Bearden Elementary & Middle)
  • 1.29 miles from a park (and it’s an easy walk or bike ride from our new West Hills home.)
  • .42 miles from a public library
  • .44 miles from a bookstore
  • .42 miles from a fitness center
  • .61 miles from a drug store (3)
  • .42 miles from a hardware store

That gives our new home a “walk score” of 66 out of a possible 100; good enough for me. Even if you don’t walk, it’s a super convenient (and economical) drive to any of the above mentioned places.

What’s your Knoxville or Farragut home’s walk score?

If you want to improve it by moving to a more “walking friendly” neighborhood, is a great place to start, no walking or driving involved. ;-)

Welcome Knoxville mortgage banker Debbie Nieto, my first guest blogger.

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 3:16 pm, April 17th, 2008  

I’m delighted to have my favorite Knoxville area mortgage banker, Debbie Nieto of CTX Mortgage Company as my first guest blogger.

debbie nieto, ctx mortgage company

Debbie Nieto

Debbie has written a great list of reasons why, despite all the negative real estate news the local and national media keep insisting on promulgating, now is a great time to buy or sell real estate in Knoxville, Tennessee.

And now without further ado; here’s Debbie

“Put the facts on your side!

In today’s housing market, we all know how important it is to get buyers and sellers back into the game. Unfortunately, the media’s continued focus on negative real estate news is keeping many people solidly on the sidelines. But remember, these people aren’t getting the whole story. And the facts they’re missing can alter their mindsets. All we have to do is put those facts out there!

Fact #1: Some six million Americans are expected to buy a home this year. Six million people in the game make up a pretty big game. That’s a level of sales equal to the one we experienced in 1998—by all accounts, a pretty good year.

Fact #2: There is still over $23 trillion of value in u.s. housing stock. Home ownership continues to be the basis of our wealth in this country.

Fact #3: The housing market cannot help but grow. Our country’s tremendous wealth, liquidity, and entrepreneurship will continue to drive our economy. 70-100 million people will be added to our market in the next 40 years.

Fact #4: Real estate is cyclical. The biggest fear in good times is that the fair weather won’t last forever—because it doesn’t. But the reality of a cyclical real estate market also provides its brightest hope in bad times—foul weather won’t last forever either. What’s happening today is a market correction, severe in some places, but it’s not the end of the world. As shown by Fact #1, people are still buying and selling homes. The markets will stabilize.

Fact #5: 2008 is the best year to buy a home in 35 years. 1973 was the last time mortgage rates were this low in a buyer’s market. We had rates this low in 2001 and 2002, but those were strong seller’s markets with little inventory. The last two big buyer’s markets, in the early ‘80s and early ‘90s had much higher rates. Low rates and good inventory make 2008 the best year to buy in decades!

Fact #6: First-time buyers have a real advantage in today’s market. First-time buyers can buy at a reduced price without having to sell at one too. Higher limits on lower cost conforming loans also help first-time buyers purchase more home for their money. Today’s ‘starter’ homes can be pretty impressive.

Fact #7: First-time buyers lose money while they wait on the sidelines. First, renters typically pay more state and federal income taxes than homeowners with a mortgage deduction. Renters are also losing the wealth they could be accumulating as they pay down their mortgage and as their home increases in value over time (as it surely will). Lastly, renters who wait to buy will lose money if interest rates increase by the time they finally act. Higher payments from higher interest rates represent money buyers could have kept if they had bought earlier. Conversely, if they were willing to spend that amount of money earlier, they could have bought more home.

Fact #8: Homes sell when they’re priced right and show well. Buyers are looking for value in today’s market. When sellers make their home’s value obvious, they make a sale—it’s as simple as that.

Use these facts on your website, in blogs, and in conversation whenever you run into reluctance from a prospective buyer or seller. The best way to fight negative media is with the facts they’re leaving out!

… Have a great month!”

Have a great month indeed!

And here’s a link to find some homes for sale to put Debbie’s excellent advice to work for you.

When you find a great home, Debbie has the cash to buy it with and I have the keys; call us please.

Knoxville Tennessee rates in top of “best cities to retire to”

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 9:15 am, December 28th, 2007  

Knoxville always rates very highly on those “best cities to do whatever” in.

knoxville tennessee great lakes for boating, sailing, or fishing

Boating on Fort Loudon Lake in Knoxville, Tennessee

One of the latest polls rates the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area as one of the best 25 cities in the country to retire to if you want to keep working after retirement although continuing to work is not a requirement.

This survey was based on the following factors:

  • General employment growth.
  • Revalence of key retirement job opportunities.
  • Presence of age-friendly employers.
  • Unemployment rate
  • Housing costs
  • General cost of living
  • Health-care services

free fishing day for kids of all ages in a Knox County Tennessee park

Free fishing day for kids of all ages at a Knox County park.

Knoxville was classified in the Central/Midwest area along with these cities:

  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Indianapolis, Indiana

Further proof of what Knoxville area residents have known for a long, long time. Knoxville, Tennessee is a great place to work, live, play, and raise a family.” There are lots of fun & exciting things to do in the greater Knoxville area for all tastes and budgets.

And is a great place to look for a new home.

knoxville tennessee housing costs are low with lots of one level homes
Knoxville offers a great selection of one level homes & condos