A reader asks:
How do I know how much to offer on a house that I want to buy?
Your real estate agent should be the key to that question. They are not suppose to tell you exactly what to offer but to give you information on what properties have sold for in the neighborhood and what makes the home you like worth more or less than the “comparable sales”. Another factor in knowing what to offer is the motivation of the seller and the experience of the seller’s agent.
Your agent can often obtain information from the listing agent as to why the seller is selling, how long the property has been on the market and if they have had any offers. The answers to these and other questions can be extremely valuable information for an experienced agent to use in advising you as to how to structure your offer to make your offer desirable to the seller. Sometimes the terms that you offer a seller can be more important than the price.
For instance I have had a buyer offer to let a seller occupy the property after the close of escrow at no cost to the seller, and even though they did not offer the highest price the seller accepted their offer over the others. It gave the seller peace of mind that they had time to find a new place to live, yet knew that their house had really sold so they had the money in their hands before they packed up and moved.
- Janis Stone
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