The Hot New Game of Lowballing

Peter Coy

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.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.