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At this point in time, there are many properties available for sale. Some are foreclosures or bank owned but most are personal property of sellers. All these sellers, banks and owners, want offers. Simple...just throw a number out there, right??? In this market you or your agent must do their homework to get the best buy for the money.
Start with looking at how long the property has been on the market...3 days--the seller would like an offer, but will be less likely to look at a low offer. 3 weeks they are starting to get antsy. The buyers agent will not know how many offers they have had or if they have had any showings. 3 months--the sellers want action. Between 60 and 90 days we are seeing the most action, either because of price drops or because this is when we see the offers start coming in.
Next look at the price reductions. Have there been any? If there have been did the price change to a whole number? Searches are done in whole numbers, if you are looking for $200,000 house, you might also need to look at the 195,000 -$200,000 range to get the odd priced homes. (If you are selling remember that agents are lazy and they do not look for the ones at $199,000 if you said you wanted $200-225,000. Sometimes that $1,000 will put you out of the search.)
Gated communities are slower sellers as the buyers do not have access to ride around and look at the neighborhood, the house styles or amenities. Gated communities are a much harder sale, so we are seeing a better dollar value here. If you have not considered looking at a gated community because you thought the fees were too much, many time the square foot costs are small enough to cover amenities costs for several years.
Finally have your agent look at sale price to list price ratios before you make your offer. If homes are selling for 90% of the list price then a 50% offer probably will be a waste of time for everyone. We do not make money till we close the sale, so the practice of writing contracts is not a good use of our time.
Remember if you are frustrated because you are not getting your contract accepted, it might be because you have not done your home work. All carpenters know to measure twice and cut once, the same is true in real estate sales, research and then offer.