Crafting a Competitive Offer
Making an offer is sort of like hurling a stone into a void and waiting to hear if it makes a splash. While different areas certainly afford different perspectives on just what the market will do, a fairly consistent trend within the country over the past decade has been that sellers are in the driver’s seat as far as negotiations are concerned. This means that the real estate market has seen more and more instances where a home is selling above its listed price, sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars.
This is important to keep in mind both when looking at homes and when placing an offer. A house – especially if it is in good condition, in a reputable neighborhood, and otherwise fairly desirable – is likely not going to sell for the asking price. And mostly gone are the days when a buyer can offer less than the asking price and expect to hear anything other than the wind whistling through the trees.
How does this change your search? Well, it means that when looking at homes you might have to lower the asking price in expectation of a higher sale price. If you’ve worked out that the limit for a home price is $225k, for instance, it might be a good idea to look at homes within the $210k or $215 price range with the expectation that when you make the offer, you will be placing some extra money on the table.
Exactly how competitive your offer needs to be depends on the area and the home in question. This is where a realtor becomes very useful as they hold the answers to these questions. Check with them regarding the offer, pick their brain and ask for their advice. Once they’ve provided you with the necessary information, you can move forward with making a good offer that lies within your budget.
Preparing for a sale price higher than the asking price will place you in a good position to not suddenly find yourself financially overextended or involved in an offer/counter-offer scenario that you really can’t afford. It will also ensure that the homes you look at now are truly ones that lie within your ability, a key feature when it comes to finding your future residence.