Trends, Testimonials, War Stories & Other Real Estate Related Adventures

Archive for November, 2013

Property Over Priced? How Much Should I Offer?

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It’s been on the market forever! They started $50K higher than their current asking price and it’s still about $20K over the competition. BUT you want it! You love the location. You love the yard! It has all the basic amenities on your wish list. If only the seller would be realistic with their price!

What should you offer? If you come in “insultingly” low, should you offer an explanation, send the seller comparables? Or should you just gush on and on about the house and how much you want it, as long as you can get it for a good price? LET YOUR AGENT GUIDE YOU!

Where most every transaction is basically the same, the personalities involved are varied. Your buyer’s agent will have an introductory and non-confrontational conversation with the seller’s agent in which they will ferret out the seller’s motivation and an explanation for the pricing. Chances are, the seller’s agent has already shown their seller the comparables – so we won’t insult the seller AND the agent by tacking these on to our low offer. And no need to gush – if you’ve taken the time to review and sign the 50 pages which make up an offer, to provide a pre-approval for your loan, you are already telling the seller you want the property, you’re serious.

In this situation, you put your best foot forward – make your low offer, but make the rest of the deal as sweet as possible, a deal the seller can’t refuse. For example, take it “As Is.”  [stay tuned for a blog on “As Is.”] Don’t obligate the seller to anything other than the price. If you need help with closing costs, you need help, just know that whatever amount you ask, reduces the sellers’ bottom line. Find out when the seller wants to settle, or where the seller wants to settle. In other words, your agent will relay to the seller’s agent that you are the most cooperative, easy-going buyer ever, and if the seller will only consider their offer price (please, please,) it’ll be smooth sailing to the settlement table.

The seller will counter your offer.  Unless desperate – which hasn’t been indicated by the pricing – the seller will take your offer and counter it, no matter what, to squeeze out of you every dollar possible. You can write in big bold red letters you’ve given the seller your best offer, your only offer, take it or leave it, and 99.9% of the time the seller will counter. Nothing to lose, everything to gain, right?

 Good luck in your negotiations!! 

How Much Should I Offer?

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You’ve finally found “the” one! It’s priced within your budget, it’s priced competitively. But an offer of “asking” price just goes against the grain, doesn’t it? Let your agent guide you and DO NOT be afraid or too stubborn to offer the asking price!  Don’t feel like you’re not getting the “best” deal available if you do so. Why?  Because the upfront negotiated sales price is, quite simply, step one.

If you are willing to pay what the seller is asking, then shouldn’t the seller be willing to accommodate you on the condition/inspection issues, appraisal issue, a conflict with the settlement date & time, help with a little closing costs?   At some point, there will be something you need, be it a personal request or a lender requirement, which will call for seller cooperation. By offering the asking price, you’re paying for cooperation up front.

Go ahead and offer less. The seller may take it! But be prepared for a battle when you want them to fix something found on the home inspection (their thoughts: buyer should use the discount to pay for problems!) Be prepared for a battle when you ask to change the settlement date by a day because you have an important work meeting you can’t miss!

The contract is step one. Then come the inspections, the loan and appraisal processing, the title work, the final walk through, then the actual settlement date. It is generally a 30-45 day process, a time the buyer and seller of a property are “involved.” Make it a pleasurable experience rather than a contentious one: Let Your Agent Guide You!


stay tuned for more “How Much Should I Offer” scenarios…..

The Best Time to List Your Home Is….

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Spring? Is it? When it comes to selling your home, every season offers pros and cons.
If you list your home in January, you beat out the Spring Competition and take advantage of all the Buyers who have “resolved” to buy a home for New Year’s.  Don’t worry about looking dreary – all homes look dreary in January!
Go ahead, list in March or April, once the trees bud and the flowers are blooming – but only if you outshine your competition and price your home competitively. If you’re running behind getting ready, once the market heats up and homes start contracting, you can jump in to help “make” the market even better (for you!) in late April & May.
Traditionally, June, July & August are somewhat “slow” months – but if the interest rates are attractive & your home is priced to sell, it won’t take you too long to sell and you’ll have the added benefit of any Appreciation the Spring market set in motion.
September, October & November – a beautiful time of year to market your home. It’s not too hot or too cold, the trees are in color, and the competition is definitely dwindling by now…. added to this is the approach of the holidays, and homes that haven’t sold are considering coming off the market to wait until the early spring to re-list. What does that mean to you? Little to no competition. Is it a hassle to show your house around the holidays? Well, yes. But lots of buyers have more free time from their jobs over the holidays to house-shop, So take advantage of the Thanksgiving to New Year’s timing to sell your home – if you’re ready, don’t wait!
Lots of other factors go into the “timing” of listing your home for sale. If you have a really nice pool, for instance, or gardens – you want to promote them at the right time if at all possible. But for the most part, we are fortunate to have a steady year-round market in Maryland!