guilt trip low offer

Do you ever feel guilty about sending low offers to people? Do you find it difficult to offer someone a fraction of their property's value when you know they're in a tight spot and they need to sell now?

Some folks argue that sending low offers like this is sleazy or unethical (as if we're somehow “taking advantage of vulnerable people in their time of need”). But in my opinion, this is absolute nonsense, and I'd like to explain why it's a completely misguided perspective. With any luck, I'll help you develop the right mindset for making low offers without the dreaded guilt trip.

The Basics of Investing in Real Estate

Everybody knows that the key to success in real estate is to buy low and sell high.

Sounds pretty simple on the surface, right? But let's be honest: To buy low, you'll have to send a lot of low offers to a lot of people. And these offers have the potential to anger and offend a lot of sellers.

This can be a MAJOR stumbling block for many new investors because nobody wants to insult or disappoint people. Luckily, this kind of mental agony is completely unnecessary, and it can be easily eliminated with a few simple changes in one's perspective.

Understanding Your Role As an Investor

If you're talking to the right sellers (i.e., that small segment of our society that is more than happy to sell their property for pennies on the dollar), you're going to encounter at least a few “sob stories” along the way. Many property owners are motivated to sell because they're in a tight spot and need money right now. Essentially, they need someone to bail them out, and they've concluded that YOU must be that person.

investor role

But here's the thing—it's not your job to bail them out. You didn't cause this person's tragic misfortune. And let's be honest—it was never your responsibility to swoop in and save the day.

Even though these “financial bailouts” will occasionally be the by-product of your business activity, don't lose sight of the fact that your primary goal as an investor is to buy properties with a higher monetary value than the amount of your investment. You're investing money with the expectation of financial gain. This is LITERALLY the definition of what an investor does!

An investor is someone who provides (or invests) money or resources for an enterprise, such as a corporation, with the expectation of financial or other gain.


Are You an Investor or Not?

If you're serious about this, you only need to do two things:

  1. Find the right kinds of sellers.
  2. Offer them the minimum viable price they will accept.

That's it.

The only trick is, everyone has a different “minimum viable price” that they're willing to accept. The only way you'll figure out those numbers is to make some offers.

RELATED: The Only 3 Things You Need To Make An Offer (It's Simpler Than You Think!)

What Is “Value”?

The funny thing about value is it comes in many different forms. The word means different things to different people.

To some, value comes in the form of money. To others, value is found in the alleviation of pain.

Some people find great value in the elimination of a problem. And others place a high value on things that are easy or convenient.

I've worked with many sellers who were happy to accept my ridiculously low offers. Why? Because they didn't care about money, period! They valued the fact that I could eliminate an annoying problem in their life AND make the process very easy for them. Their property had become a major nuisance, and by offering to remove that nuisance, I was giving them all the value they could ever hope for!

Even though the money would matter greatly to ME, not every property owner cares about the same thing. Everybody has different problems to deal with, and many motivated sellers have a different perspective on money than most people. Some people desperately need an “easy button,” and it pays to be the one who can offer this kind of solution!

What a Seller's “No” Means

On the other hand, it's important to recognize that when you send out a lot of low offers, many people won't agree with your value proposition. They'll simply say “No” to youThat's okay too.

seller no

Your proposed solution to their problem (the terms of your offer) won't always be the right fit for everybody, and the seller has every right to turn you down. In many cases, they will—believe me. If a seller isn't getting what they need from the deal, it's their responsibility to say “No” to you, and you certainly can't fault them for it.

An investor's goal is to find the sellers who want the kind of value they can offer. These are the kinds of property owners who are willing to give away large portions of free equity in their property. This usually happens when people are apathetic and want the property out of their lives. But let's get one thing straight—these deals won't happen without the seller's full, written consent.

RELATED: How Much Should You Offer For That Property?

Assigning Responsibility

When a seller is dealing with personal or financial problems, remember these are their problems, not yours. You cannot make business decisions based on circumstances you didn't cause and can't control.

And let's be honest—when you send someone a low offer, you're not forcing them to do anything. You're simply providing them with one possible solution to consider. It's their responsibility to decide whether or not it meets their needs.

The only time investors feel “guilt” during the offer-making process is when they make unwarranted assumptions about the seller. This has a nasty side-effect of throwing emotions into a decision that ought to be completely unemotional. In most cases, we can only know one thing with certainty—the price WE are willing to pay. And this is all a reasonable investor can base their decision on.

Doing the Math for an Offer

Making an offer is the simple act of doing the math and presenting your opportunity to the seller. If the seller doesn't like your offer, that doesn't mean you made the wrong offer. In fact, it may even be proof that you're making the right kinds of offers.

You aren't a mind-reader. You're giving people the numbers that work for you, and the only way to know what any seller is willing to accept is to test the boundaries.

In the end, it all boils down to these three steps:

  1. Come up with a number that cannot fail you.
  2. Show your number to the seller.
  3. Assess their response and act accordingly.

It's that simple.

The moment we start making offers that we think the seller will like, we start making dangerous and foolish assumptions about the person we're negotiating with.

When we make offers that compromise our profit margin (because of our biases and assumptions), we are literally changing our business model and moving toward a destination that will eventually hurt us

Many businesses have crashed and burned because they failed to stick to these simple principles. Don't add your name to that unfortunate list of casualties.

Establishing Some Facts

To stay in the right frame of mind when sending low offers, you need to eliminate the emotions from your decision-making process. Let's ensure we're all on the same page by considering these five facts.

Fact #1: The Seller's Problems Are Not Your Problem

When a seller is in a desperate situation and needs cash now, it's quite common for them to tell you their story of hardship and tragedy. The world is FULL of people going through difficult situations and needs help. It's only human to feel sorry for someone in a difficult situation, but don't lose sight of the fact that it's not your problem. You didn't create the situation they're in and didn't cause this hardship in their life; you're just running a business.

To make money, you need to buy properties for FAR less than market value. It's nothing personal and has nothing to do with who they are or what their property consists of—it's just basic math. They're not obligated to accept your offer; you're just giving them one option based on what the property is worth to you. That's it!

It's not your fault that they NEED to sell now. Don't waste your emotional energy trying to shoulder a burden that isn't yours.

Fact #2: You Don't Owe the Seller Anything

I've always wondered why some sellers will get offended by a low offer. From the perspective of an investor, it's just a number. The reality is, this number is 100% arbitrary until all parties accept the contract.

With every offer I make, I simply offer what the property is worth to me. In most cases, it's not worth much because I have many other opportunities to choose from. If someone doesn't like my offer—that's fine! I'm just being honest with them about what I'm willing to put on the line to bail them out of their problem.

One thing is certain: I'm not going to inflate my number just because they are desperate for cash. Their desperate situation is unfortunate, but it's still not my problem. Not to mention, if their property is worth what they think it is, they shouldn't have problems finding a buyer who will pay their full asking price in the next week. If they're correct about their property's market value, then they don't need me, and I don't need them. That's the honest truth.

Fact #3: The Property's Value Is for YOU to Decide

Let's get another thing straight—there is no such thing as “guaranteed value” in real estate (that is, not until AFTER money has changed hands). A property is only worth the amount someone is willing to pay; any other assessment is nothing more than pure speculation. Even if your property is appraised at $300,000, this number still isn't a guarantee that anyone will pay $300,000 for the property.

valuation crystal ball

Whenever someone tells me what their property is worth (as if they have some all-knowing crystal ball), I always have to chuckle because they clearly don't understand how real estate valuations work.

Fact #4: A Seller Is Under No Obligation to Accept Your Offer

There's one simple reason I'm always comfortable sending an offer to someone for 10% of their property's market value.

Because all they have to do is say “No” to me, and we can go our separate ways.

I'm not forcing them to do anything. The sooner someone says “No” to me, the better. It means I can stop wasting time and move on to the next opportunity!

I am fully aware that my offers won't make sense to most people. I don't expect any particular person to accept it, but I know (from experience) that statistically, when I send out enough offers, there's always someone who will. Eventually.

The funny thing is, most of the people who accept my offers aren't so much “desperate” as they are apathetic. They just don't care.

Let's be honest; if someone did care about their property, they could easily sell it for WAY more than I'm offering them. Any local Realtor would be happy to help them out!

But they won't.

A seller's apathy usually becomes quite clear before the deal is done, and it's yet another reason I sleep so well at night.

Fact #5: You Are Offering Them a Better Solution Than Anyone Else Has

If a seller says “Yes” to your offer, it's usually safe to assume that you're giving them a better solution than anyone else has before you. Think about it. Why would they accept your offer if they had better options elsewhere?

If a seller says “No” to your offer—more power to them! Remember, you're not forcing them to do anything; you're just presenting them with an option, however good or bad it might be. They have more control over their destiny than you do.

A Good Deal Is Always Mutually Beneficial

In the end, the only transactions you'll end up doing are the ones that both parties have determined to be mutually beneficial.

For a deal to get done, both the buyer and seller must accept it. If the buyer doesn't like it, they won't send the offer. If the seller doesn't like it, they won't accept it. It's that simple!

Sure, an investor could always offer more—that is, if they don't care about abiding by their established business model. But if an investor isn't concerned about making a profit, why are they doing this business in the first place?

Some people are more concerned with helping people through charity and giving, which is awesome. But there are MUCH better ways to help people than through some misguided attempt at running a “business.”

Think about it—if someone is criticizing you for the kinds of offers you're sending to a seller, why aren't THEY sending this seller a better offer? If they can't (or won't) put their money where their mouth is, what position are they in to tell you how to run your business?

Sending low offers can be a real mind game for many investors, but when you boil it down to the numbers and logic of the process, it's pretty simple.

Understand what makes a good deal and stick to your guns. You'll be glad you did!

About the author

Seth Williams is the Founder of - an online community that offers real-world guidance for real estate investors.

REtipster Club

Discover the REtipster Club

Learn what successful investors aren’t telling you.
Become a member, achieve financial freedom and
make your dream a reality!

Join the Club!
Scroll Up

Welcome to

We noticed you are using an Ad Blocker

We get it, too much advertising can be annoying.

Our few advertisers help us continue bringing lots of great content to you for FREE.

Please add to your Ad Blocker white list, to receive full access to website functionality.

Thank you for supporting. We promise you will find ample value from our website.