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Lowballing is the profitable game of submitting a ludicrously low bid on a house just to see if the seller goes for it. The game didn’t get played much over the past few years, when houses were sold within hours for above the asking price. But for obvious reasons it seems to be enjoying a resurgence of popularity.
I just found this new blog about the northern New Jersey housing market. The blogger, named James Bednar, aka “Grim,” posted an item Saturday about houses that sold recently for way below their asking price, including one in Madison, N.J., that was listed for $2.89 million and sold for $2.3 million.
Not everyone has the stomach for lowballing, particularly if the seller is in genuine distress. But like it or not, this is how markets work in a slowdown.
Please let me know of any extreme lowballs where you live.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.