What is a fair offer? Buyer considerations

It's decision time. Turning to your real estate representatives you ask “what should I offer?”

You have done your homework, considered many properties on-line, visited the “likes”, created the short list, been back to the best of them more than once. You have a winner, and maybe a backup if your first choice doesn’t pan out.

Turning to your real estate representatives you ask “what should I offer?”

You know the decision is really yours, and you may already have roughed out terms in your mind. But a considered independent opinion will probably be valuable.

After all, we represent you. We aren’t sales people, bent on convincing you to do something you aren’t really inclined to do.

You want the property, but only at a price and on terms that make sense to you. So the real question isn’t can I dictate the agreement. The real question is: what can I say that will be accepted?

So we start with figuring out where the seller’s mind is likely to be. If we can figure out what the seller might be prepared to agree to, we are more than halfway to making the home ours!

Some of these questions we know the answers to. Some answers we should communicate to the seller. An example might be a similar home that just went pending and the terms of the sale we learned because Bethany had a conversation about it with that seller’s real estate representative. Some we might not be able to get answers to, like the last question. But we can try. Bethany might call your seller’s representative and ask leading questions. Remember we are your representatives: anything we hear is information you will hear!

From all we can learn it is often possible to predict with considerable confidence what the price and terms of an agreement are likely to be. By the time you write an offer you are very likely to know where the seller stands and what they are likely to accept. You certainly can test these assumptions: you can’t get what you don’t ask for. But remembering the desire to see you succeed, and not wanting to be supporters of failure, we will work for you to craft a proposal and responses that keep the conversation alive and, hopefully, lead to an agreement that is fully acceptable.

There are lots of clues to where the seller’s mind is likely to be.

  • How long has the home been on the market?
  • What kind of seller is this, a private party or a corporation?
  • If a corporation, what is known about their history of negotiating agreements in our market?
  • What is the pricing history of the property? How long has it been on the market at the current listed price?
  • What have similar homes sold for? We can assume the seller’s representative has already discussed those comparables.
  • What has sold recently that is similar? Can we assume the selling price is close to that current listed price? The seller may not know about these.
  • What is the seller competing with? We saw these homes inside, the seller probably has not.
  • What is the trend and mood of the market? How likely is it that the seller shares your view?
  • What are the strengths of the property? Doubtless the seller has priced in anticipation of the market appreciating its appeal.
  • What are the downsides of the property? Which negatives will the market generally view as such, and which are negatives applicable only to your situation?
  • What is the seller’s opinion of the current price, and how negotiable might they be?