Home Buying in South Beach>Question Details

CB, Home Buyer in California

First time buyer. I am looking to buy a 1-bedroom condo in South Beach, SF.

Asked by CB, California Sat Mar 29, 2008

I am looking to buy a 1-bedroom condo in South Beach, SF. It is on the top floor of the building. It has the
view looking back to down town and a glimpse of Bay Bridge. Since the property has been on the market for a year and seeing at the trend of real estate nation wide has gone down 10% and most likely to go down more. I am wondering if there is a possibly to get a better deal or not? Or what is the reasonable bargain can I ask for? How many % lower can I ask for?

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Peter Brunton, MBA’s answer

I would look at it from a finance point of view. First I would get a realtor to run some recent comps for that particular building and some within a couple of blocks for the last 2 months. That way you know what's the typical price per sq ft. in the area and for each type of characteristic (view, floor, etc.). Once you armed with that knowledge you know a fair price and then I would go lower since it has been on the market so long. Also, right now cash is king. I would try to negotiate an immediate credit for non recurring closing costs from the seller. I would use this cash to make some more investments; so that you are getting a great deal and are diversifying.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2008
Dear CB,

If this a new construction development, you can ask for a lot of things like asking the Seller to pay for upgrades, non-recurring closing costs, a year or two of dues and offer less in your original offer.

If this is a resale and the property has been for sale for a year, you should ask your agent to show you a list of comparable sales and make your offer based on that. It was probably seriously over-priced to begin with and your agent should have given you a history of the pricing of that unit, a history of sales in the complex as well as a CMA on the area to help you make your first offering price....Your agent can present that to the Seller's agent and begin negotiations from there.

Without knowing which building and all other details, it is hard to give you a percentage.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
You make money in Real Estate when you buy it, not when you sell it. Buyers are the boss right now, be a cheapskate, the worst they will say is no. If they do, so what?

Having sold $35+ million worth of condos in South Beach last year, I can honestly say , sometimes the answer will suprise you!
Web Reference: http://www.skyboxrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 28, 2009
Hi CB,

You need to have information in front of you in order for you to answer your own question. As a realtor in the South Beach area, I provide such information to help my clients make informed decisions.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008
Thank you for the replies. These give me some great ideas of how to approach my first purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008
Along with the advice to work with your agent to determine an offer price I'd add what I tell all my cleints, now and when buyers were competing for homes. "Offer what you are comfoprtable paying for the property. You need to b e comfortable with the price if you get the property and you need to be comfortable with the offer if it gets rejected knowing that you gave it the shot that you wanted".
I always tell that to my clients after going over comps, my market review and any research I can do on the seller and the listing agent.
Remember it is your decision and it is "a ready and willing buyer" that sets market value.
Be prepared to have a little give and take with the seller, they might have a different idea of the value. But if a property has been on the market for a year they might not really be a seller.
Web Reference: http://www.jedlane.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Congratulations on deciding to become a first-time homeowner. There is never a perfect time to jump in but certainly if you find what you like, this would be a fabulous time to secure it with an offer. A good real estate agent will advise you on price point. With interest rates low and a 10% price correction, it is a good time. The most important item is you love the home you are considering to purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Hello CB. Your best course of action is to interview an agent and select one to help you out. It appears that the deal you might want to make could be difficult and would have many aspects an experienced agent would be able to give you advice for. Some agents might answer after me and give you some pointers. I know what I'd say to a client that asked me the same question, but since I have a few clients looking in that area, I wouldn't want to give away my strategies here for all to see and replicate and use them against me and my clients.

One of the misconceptions I think you've identified is that the "nation wide" market has gone down 10%. That is an average that the members of the press publish. Averages don't tell a very good story, and you should not rely on them for making property purchase decisions. Specific markets, like SF, Manhattan, Chicago, Santa Barbara etc, are actually doing well. Even in these city-markets, there are some neighborhoods that are increasing by large percentages, and there are neighborhoods that are decreasing in percentages.

When you select an agent to help you, have them assist you in studying that property, it's owner, and the neighborhood around it to better make your purchase decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
You can ask for anything you want, but it should be reasonable and approached appropriately.

That is a perfect question to ask your Realtor, who hopefully has experience in negotiating good deals for their clients! This is but one reason why Realtors are worth their money.
Web Reference: http://www.sfcondomap.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
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