Is an offer to buy a house an insult even if it is very low??  Of course not.  An offer indicates that the buyer at least has more interest than everyone else who has looked at a house and kept on shopping.  Owners shouldn't get insulted about low offers, they should look at a low offer as the beginning of a negotiation.  All business deals start somewhere and often the two sides are very far apart, in the beginning.  This happens very often in the Tampa Bay real estate market, as well as everywhere else where real estate transactions happen.

The art of negotiating a real estate transaction is the heart of the deal.  The realtor has to present the offers to the seller, and then present the counter-offer, if there is one, to the buyer's agent.  Seller's who get insulted at a low offer, make the deal personal and refuse to negotiate cause one unavoidable result.  They are left holding on to a house that is not going to sell to that buyer - ever.  The seller who may not like the first low offer, and makes a counter-offer, is the seller who will in time sell the house to that buyer, for more than the original offer.  This is a win-win situation and is the goal of all business deals.

When a seller refuses to negotiate when they get a low offer they are simply making a higher offer than that buyer did and "buy" the house, in a manner of speaking.  Since the potential buyer couldn't buy that house, they moved on.  The owner has in essence, outbid that buyer, and ends up continuing to own the house. 

It is important to remember that many times the first, "low" offer came from a serious buyer who took a shot that the seller would be desperate and accept a known low offer.  The buyer in this case fully expected the seller to come back with a counter offer and start a negotiation.  No counter offer equals no deal.

The long and short of it, no matter how "low" an offer is, it is well worthwhile to come back with a counter offer.  This will tell the seller if the buyer is serious and willing to negotiate, or not.  If a buyer makes only very low offers, and will not accept a counter offer, nothing is lost by the seller.  In the Tampa Bay real estate market, this happens quite often because of the number of foreclosures and short sales.  If the seller refuses to negotiate, there can never be a successful negotiation that results in a sale.  Most sellers in the Tampa Bay market will respond with a counter offer and this leads to more successful transactions.