Lowball! 11/13 – 11/19

Welcome to another edition of Lowball!

Lowball! takes a look at home sales over the past week from a very different perspective. For those new to Lowball!, a lowball offer is when a buyer offers a significantly lower bid than asking in hopes that the seller accepts the offer. We take a list of home sales over the past week and pick out the sales that have the highest percentage difference between asking price and selling price.

The reason for Lowball! is to show buyers that the market has changed and buyers now have considerably more leverage than sellers. Just a short time ago, lowball offers would have been laughed at and discarded, however, not any more. The fact that so many under-asking offers are being accepted is clear proof that the market is changing.

The list does not contain all sales, I hand-pick the most interesting sales from the list. These listings might be the highest dollar drops, biggest percentage reductions, or sales in towns that are thought to still be ‘hot’. Please note, even with double digit percentage reductions, these homes are still incredibly overpriced.

This week’s list of Lowball! sales is very interesting, and I’ll tell you why. The first 6 listings were all lowball offers greater than 20% off the asking price, the lowball offers are getting deeper, and sellers are accepting. More then 75% of all sales over this period were Lowball! offers, that’s right folks, out of some 590 sales I looked at on GSMLS, over 75% were offers under asking.

MLS# 2079066 – Vernon, NJ
Asking Price $169,900
Selling Price $120,000 (41.6% Lowball)

MLS# 2089089 – Madison, NJ
Asking Price $2,890,000
Selling Price $2,300,000 (25.7% Lowball)

MLS# 2088167 – Frelinghuysen, NJ
Asking Price $562,000
Selling Price $450,000 (24.9% Lowball)

MLS# 2089581 – Hoptatcong, NJ
Asking Price $205,000
Selling Price $165,000 (24.2% Lowball)

MLS# 2096901 – Hawthorne, NJ
Asking Price $429,900 (Originally $459,900)
Selling Price $350,000 (22.8% Lowball)
(Very interesting historic brownstone, built in the 1810’s.)

MLS# 2093225 – Linden, NJ
Asking Price $459,900 (Originally $460,000)
Selling Price $375,000 (22.6% Lowball)

MLS# 2089944 – Pequannock, NJ
Asking Price $449,900
Selling Price $387,000 (16% Lowball)

MLS# 2074275 – Mahwah, NJ
Asking Price $999,900 (Originally Asking $1,099,000)
Selling Price $875,000 (14.3% Lowball, 20.4% from OLP)

MLS# 2103134 – Westfield, NJ
Asking Price $1,595,000
Selling Price $1,415,000 (12.7% Lowball)

MLS# 2068740 – Millburn, NJ
Asking Price $899,000 (Originally Asking $950,000)
Selling Price $ 800,000 (12.4% Lowball, 15.8% from OLP)

MLS# 2072601 – Boonton, NJ
Asking Price $619,000
Selling Price $555,000 (11.5% Lowball)

Biggest Dollar Lowball!

Peapack Gladstone, NJ (I will not post the MLS# of this one)
Asking Price $12,500,000 (Originally Asking $13,900,000)
Selling Price $11,500,000 ($1m off Asking, 2.4m off OLP)

A few closing notes, keep in mind this data is from GSMLS, not Hudson or NJMLS, thus this data neglects Lowball! offers through other systems. For example, Bergen listings are primarily on the NJMLS, so they often don’t get their fair share as part of these listings. However, on the subject of Bergen, I always keep a close eye on Ridgewood, I feel it to be a good indicator of Bergen trends. So let me just throw one Bergen MLS drop out for the team..

MLS# 2074326 – Ridgewood, NJ
Asking Price $549,900 (Originally Asking $575,000)
Selling Price $520,000 (5.8% Lowball, 9.6% off OLP)

Caveat Emptor!

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25 Responses to Lowball! 11/13 – 11/19

  1. NJGal says:

    Best feature ever. I love it. Good catch in Ridgewood – I have family there. It’s a nice town with great schools. If it can drop, anything can drop.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You need to check out this house that was just listed!HANOVER TWP., NJ 07981 MLS ID#: 2215437

    It is an UGLY, trailer-park looking house in a nasty shade of tacky yellow. Granted, it’s in a great neighborhood with low taxes and good schools, but OMG, what a RIPOFF!!! I can’t even begin to IMAGINE who would even consider buying this house!!!

  3. grim says:

    Thanks njgal, it’s actually alot of fun to go through these listings every day..


  4. njcoast says:

    Great blog- reductions are happening down the shore too (Monmouth County).

  5. Yuip says:

    AMAZING, Best article all week. I cant believe how much lowballing is taking place! And Sellers are Accepting! Very encouraging news. I will test the lowball and report back what happens!

  6. grim says:

    I was going to post the other side of this, the homes way that sold for way over asking, but shortly into gathering the data, I saw a very obvious trend.. Most of the homes that sell over asking are significantly underpriced for the area. The underprice/bid-war strategy has never sat well with me. I suppose if it works well on eBay, it must work well here too..


  7. Anonymous says:


    How about DMFer’s?

    Sorry want to keep it clean, but these homebuyers are MORONS.

    Best of luck to them. I hope they will not have to sell within net 7-8 years cuz a loss is very very likely.

  8. grim says:

    Agree, even the lowball price is high at this point.


  9. Anonymous says:

    I saw the Mahwah home and it is amazing it was ever on for $1,099,000, it was a complete dump that needed 100% updating. $875k is still way too much, even in a hot market, as you couldn’t pay me to live there.

  10. Anonymous says:

    great article
    real estate is down 30% and nobody knows!!!
    its going to get much worse

    the nj shore is a disaster
    you will hear the horror stories of all the people who bought in the last 5 years—they will be “under water”

  11. Carlitos says:

    Could you please post so lowball in the Union County area?
    Westfield,New providence,scotch plains and Berkeley Heights
    thank you

  12. Anonymous says:

    I came across your site a few days ago and seems to be very helpful. I have been using the various sites to assess the price that a home/apt was bought but two other things that interested me and would appreciate if you could share some light on them

    1. Why do you think now is the worst time to buy a home? what are some of the down side. I was thinking that since the market is on the way down (and ofcourse no one can judge where and when the lowest point is), it would be a good way to “command” the price or as you say lowball.?

    2. You also mentioned somewhere that twice the inflation rate (max) should be price that one should pay for a house that was bought x years ago and not anything more. Well i am looking in Hoboken and there if i were to go by that there is no place to find one. My calculation has been.
    A. Find out the Price that the apt was bought for in whatever year
    B. Add the tax every year + whatever maintenance he has paid+ his 10% down (at say 5% growth every year). Add all this to inflation rate twice of the list price of the house – and that should give the price of the apt.
    It could potentially be a bit up or down depending on how hot the market (in terms of location – proximity to NYC etc).


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