Should You Write a Lowball Offer on a Silicon Valley Home for Sale?

If you’re out to buy a Silicon Valley home this year, you may be tempted to look at real estate priced far above your ability to pay and hope that you can write a low offer that the seller will accept.

Don’t count on it.

Lowball offers are contracts written substantially below the list price (and often well below market price).  How low is too low? It really depends on the micro-market of the home you’re interested in (the neighborhood, price range, school district, etc.).  In most of Silicon Valley, houses, condos and townhouses sell within 5% of list price most of the time. The average list price to sales price ratio is usually closer to 1 – 3% of list price.

My usuall advice to buyers is this: if you don’t think that the home is worth within 5% of list price, then keep looking until you find a home that is.  Most of the time, sellers aren’t prepared to come down more than a few percent.