Let’s set up a scenario. You are selling your house. It is in excellent condition, situated in a quiet neighborhood with good schools. The foreclosure rate is very low in your part of town and properties are, for the most part, maintaining their value. You have already rented a temporary residence in the city to which your employment has transferred you. You’d like to sell the house soon but it’s only been on the market a few weeks and others have expressed interest.
In short, no. You don’t have to deal with people who are not serious.
When should you consider an offer that seems like an insult? If you are not getting serious offers, look at your price. Check a web site that gives info on what houses in your area are selling for such as Homethinking and be sure your agent is working for you in listing your home in high traffic locations. Look again at the condition of your home or neighborhood that might affect what others think your home is worth. Be ready to counter that opinion with more information or your experience. In other words, you may need to respectfully show the other party that they need to revise their offer. You may also need to take a hard look at your own circumstances. Do you need to sell the house sooner rather than later — you’ve already moved into another house or you need the cash to purchase your next residence? Has it been on the market for longer than you would like?
In the end, should you counter? Maybe, it depends.