Let’s assume you’ve been out looking at more houses than you care to admit and you have finally zeroed in on the one you want. So, how much should you offer? You’d love to get the deal of the century. At the same time, you want to be sure you get the house.
Start by asking yourself this question – What is more important, getting a good deal or getting this house? After all, if you don’t get the house, you also don’t get the good deal.
Next, research the following:
1. Study other comparable homes that are for sale. More importantly, examine recent comparable sales. They are a truer gauge of the market because comparable sales represent what a buyer actually paid for a property, not a seller’s fantasy.
2. Pay close attention to the condition of the house. If it has considerable deferred maintenance, you must factor in that cost.
3. Find out the number of days the property has been on the market and the reason the sellers want to sell. This is critical! If the home just came on the market, chances are the sellers won’t budge much. We call this the “honeymoon period”. Either their home will sell quickly, or they’ll have to reduce the price eventually.
4. If you are in competition, our advice is to put your best foot forward on your first offer because it is very likely that you will only get one chance. Make your offer attractive enough that if you don’t get it, you aren’t kicking yourself afterward.
Lastly, whether you are a buyer or seller, the best advice is to remain flexible. Most negotiations reach impasses, not impossibilities. Pay close attention to what the other side is asking for and consider what you can offer to achieve a win-win scenario.