How low can we go? Buyers new negotiating strategy
Almost no one is making an offer at the asking price these days for homes that have been on the market a while, but making an insulting low offer is not usually the best way to get a home you are interested in. The real estate market is dynamic, but perceptions are slow to change and the news media isn’t helping. The inventory of available homes for sale in our area is low, compared to two years ago. Here in our market, we had almost eight months of inventory in October of 2008. At the end of March, 2011, there is less than two months of inventory available to buy. Because of the media attention, buyers think that they are in the driver’s seat and a seller is lucky to have them make an offer. Buyers are looking at homes outside of their price range and hoping that desperate sellers will accept. Writing offers that are 15-20% below that asking price is usually just an exercise that doesn’t do anything but set up an adversarial relationship with the sellers and the agents.
News flash: quick full-price offers and multiple offers are back on desirable homes that are priced to sell. Not too low and not too high, just desirable floor plans, updated houses, at the right price. We just had a listing that sold in 3 days with a full price offer. Another agent in our office had multiple offers on a home in 3 days and it went for more than the asking price. In both cases, the buyers had lost out on other homes because they were not as fast as other buyers to get their offers in for consideration.
Don’t get me wrong, things are not back to the 2005 and 2006 frenzy here, but there are buyers with financing that need to buy a house and don’t want to wait forever! If the object of putting your house on the market is to get it sold, price it competitively, make it accessible and with the right marketing, it will sell and you won’t have to go through the frustration of dealing with insultingly low offers.