Once you’ve found a house you’re ready to purchase, the next step is making an offer to the seller. There are many factors to consider when deciding how much to offer.
When deciding how much to offer, you should:
• Determine the market — If you’re making an offer in a buyer’s market, you may be able to negotiate with a seller because there are fewer buyers.
• Find out how much the seller paid.
• Determine the seller’s mortgage balance — If the mortgage balance is high, the seller may be more motivated to sell.
• Look at comparable sales — Take a look at the sales price of properties in the area that are similar in age and size.
• Look at list price to sales price ratios — This will show you what homes were listed at and how much they eventually sold for in your area. This will give you an idea of what percentage below the asking price a seller may accept. Ask your real estate agent for this report.
• Check out the average square foot cost – See if the home is listed above or below the average cost per square foot.
• See how many days the home has been listed on the market or if it was relisted — If the home has been on the market longer than 30 days, the seller may be willing to negotiate.
Stephanie, a real estate agent, advises: “You want the offer to be clean, you want to ask for the important things. You don’t want to nit-pick on the offer. You don’t want to give the listing agent too many things to counter you back at if you’re going to be in a multiple offer situation or if it’s a very competitive situation. Whenever I write an offer, I give the agent—the listing agent—everything that they need, so they want to pick my offer. I will include verification of funds via bank statement from my client, verification of a credit report of my client, and a written preapproval letter”.
Donald Horne, Team Success Listing
Associate Broker-Coldwell Banker Shooltz Realty
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