Home Buying in Astoria>Question Details

ilovemyyorkie, Home Buyer in Astoria, Queens, NY

Help making an offer for first-time home buyers

Asked by ilovemyyorkie, Astoria, Queens, NY Tue Oct 2, 2012

We found 2 homes we like in Astoria-one for $735k and one for $929k. They are both attached 2-family houses that need about the same about of work. The cheaper one is a bigger lot (22 x100), the more expensive one is smaller (20 x85). I like the more expensive one bc it has an income unit and its brick. The house is extremely overpriced. The listing agent called me and asked me if I was still interested b/c he had no offers yet. I nicely told him we were but that I felt it was overpriced and told him the comps, even sending him a few houses we saw which were below $750k. He me that the owner did an appraisal and it came back at $875. I went to nyc.gov and looked at the house, NYC appraised the property at $712k. The comps in the area are between $700-$825. He offered us the house for $865 saying the owner came down a lot in price and if we accept it would be as in condition, which we are uncomfortable with. I still feel that the offer is too high. What would be a good and fair offer?

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Answers

15
I would spend more time looking at Realtors than looking at homes. One of the most frequent mistakes made by buyers in my opinion is they know absolutely nothing about the Realtor they are working with. Attend several open houses, meets some new agents, ask friends and family who they used, take the prospects to lunch and get to know them. You probably know more about the person that cuts your hair than you did about the agents you have been working with. Does that even sound like a good idea? Your hair will grow back, overpaying for a home, not so much. Good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
JSimms@cmcloans.com
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
Web Reference: http://jamessimms.com/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
If you are still looking into buy this house or any other house and have not done so let me say this to you. Stop, take a break, refocus, put a plan into action and then approach this situation again. As for the two houses, if you were shown them by a Realtor you may want to fire them providing you have not signed any instrument with them. I will like to speak with you if you have the time and will be honored in working with you to accomplish your goal. Hope it is not too late.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
Good morning ilovemyyorkie,

As many years as I've been helping First Time Buyers (23 and counting!!!) my clients have often asked me, "How do I know what the Seller really wants for the house?"

My response has always been: "Make an OFFER!"

In your case with this overpriced house in Astoria, you should ignore what the Agent is telling you ("Blah-blah-blah-blah: MAXXPRICE!") and make the Offer with which you feel comfortable. Tell the Agent to present your Offer and then sit back and watch for the results. You don't need to justify your Offer by discussing comps and values; keep it simple and say, "Dear Agent/Homeowner, we like your Home and this is what we wish to pay for it. Let us know what you think of our Offer. Have a nice day." END of DISCUSSION.

When you make an Offer you are opening a dialogue with the Seller of the home (through their Realtor unless you're buying a FSBO). Conversations are a great way to get to the nuts and bolts of a home purchase. Too often Buyers want to ask lots of questions to get "inside information" about the Seller's wants in terms of price. With the internet, Buyers can frequently research what a Seller paid and how much the Seller may owe on their existing mortgage(s). IMHO this is a flawed method for getting to the truth about Price.

Create a dialogue with the Seller by making an Offer. Watch and listen for the Seller's response. Is there no response? Consider increasing your offer slightly. If there is a response to your Offer, what kind of response is it? A counter-offer? A resounding, "NO?" Or, best of all, an Acceptance?

No matter the response, you've opened a conversation. Once the conversation has begun the purchase transaction begins to gain momentum. I know it may not feel that way, but the parties involved, including the Realtors, are thinking "We have a potential deal on the table. What do we have to do to make it work?" Your Offer will soon lead to a serious dialogue and hopefully an acceptance. You won't know unless you make that opening bid; so, make an Offer, create a diaogue with the Seller and Buy Your Home!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services
NMLS#3528
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
This was very helpful. We decided to go ahead and just make an offer of $725, based on the comps in the area and the condition of the home! Lets see what happens!! Thank you!
Flag Wed Oct 3, 2012
You want a buyer's agent, not a broker's agent, every agent you deal with should be giving you a New York State disclosure from which will clearly state in what capacity the agent is acting. You want to make sure the buyer's (your) agent will agree to take only the commission offered by the seller as their complete payment, and I would not sign an exclusive agreement with anyone (some won't work with you if you don't sign, but there are plenty that will). Once you find a buyer's agent that you like, if you go to an open house you would simply hand the realtor conducting the open house your agent's business card. Listing agent's of course would like to get both sides (buy & sell) of a commission, but that's not your problem, you need someone looking out for and protecting your interests, and that person is your buyer's agent. As to finding one, it shouldn't be too difficult you can look here on Trulia and read the reccomendations etc.. When you find someone you might want to googgle their name and see what you come up with, then exchange a few e-mails and see if they are prompt and paying attention. If they aren't responsive to your first e-mails, chances are they will only get worse. Good luck, please feel free to contact me if I can be of any help.
Tom Brady SFR, e-PRO, SRES, GREEN, BPOR
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Retired N.Y.P.D. Lt.
631-682-8660
Tom@BradyFamilyRealty.com
http://www.BradyFamilyRealty.com
"We treat you like family!"
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Drive - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Thank you Tom. Too bad you are not in Queens! It is so different here as agents come and go and we have never received this disclosure form even when we went to open houses. I feel like in the Astoria market is so aggressive because agents don't have to do any real work and the house will sell anyway. I will see if I can find a buyers agent around here. The other problem in Astoria is that house ownership usually goes along way back and the house is passed down from generations, so there arent that many people to ask for reccs. For example, the house we want has been in the family since 1963 and this is the first time they are selling it. Everyone I know purchased condos and they worked with either the listing agent or the broker (not a buyers agent). Thanks for all your help!
Flag Wed Oct 3, 2012
It sounds to me that you may have worked with a few agents that showed you some properties, but that is not the same as working with your own buyer's agent. A buyer's agent is one you hire to work for you! To protect your own interests instead of the seller's. That agent is supposed to understand your wants and needs, be able to explain the buying process well and ultimately help you make decisions. When working with a buyer's agent, you are the one in control! And, best part, since the buyer's agent shares the commission of the listing agent, it doesn't cost you anything extra.
Get your own buyer's agent and best of luck with your buying venture!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Your agent should advise you on the correct price along with a complete CMA. This CMA should outline how the justified price was derived, along with similar properties in the neighborhood

Having said that, be careful in today's market - since the prices have rebounded in many areas, it is not surprising to see many properties priced on the high end of the spectrum!

Good luck

Best,
Nick Gandhi
Equity Capital Real Estate
(203) 280 3838
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Thank you, Tom. I think you are right about who I have been dealing with... its been very stressful. How does one find a brokers agent? And also, if i went to see the house as an open house and I obligated to deal only with the listing agent since I did not have a broker? Or can I now bring in a buyers agent? Will they not want to help me because they will feel like they are poaching on the listing agents commission (an agent told me this - not sure if this is true or if this also applies to the brokers agent).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Hi. Not sure if this is late, but you can go to CBRSource.com. You can find buyers agents in the area you're looking to purchase who will work in your best interest. Keep in mind, buyers agents don't work for free. I think haviong a buyers agent is a huge advantage in any negotiation, because, as some of the other posts have said, most agents work for the seller unless you specifically request they work for you, the buyer.
Flag Sat May 18, 2013
You have been dealing with seller's agents (the listing agents) and what sounds like broker's agents. A buyer's agent will be working for you and you can discuss your strategies, finances etc. with them, and I don't work in your area so there is nothing in this for me, but I strongly recommend it to protect your interests.
Tom Brady SFR, e-Pro, SRES, GREEN
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Ret. NYPD Lt.
631-682-8660
Tom@BradyFamilyRealty.com
http://www.BradyFamilyRealty.com
"We treat you like family!"
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Plaza - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
Consider working with an agent of your own who can provide any necessary information so that an informed decision can be made; he/she will best guide you....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
Also by the same condition I meant the second floor apt was rentable. The first floor is livable but needs work like new kitchen and bathroom upgrades and the basement is unfinished and cannot be turned into a legal 3 family so we would lose rent there-we can turn it into a duplex eventually. No parking space or garage and fully attached.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
Thanks for the replies. I am not sure if a buyers agent is the same as a regular agent but we have wored with 4 different agents already and they were the worst!! All aggressive and trying to get us to just place a bid at high prices. I would always ask each of them for comes and they would not provide them. I felt like they were just looking to naked a quick buck and commission. Most would take weeks to call us back and then sounded annoyed that they had to help us back very strange as ee have excellent credit and are reproved already.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
It's amazing that with all the information available online, you just can't replace a broker who knows the neighborhood, comps, etc. I know Astoria well and it's just full of hard-headed owners who want to "sell" if they get their price, comps be damned.

You say the properties "need about the same amount of work" but fail to mention what that work is. For all we know, it might just be cosmetic. you say the second home has an income unit but both are 2 family, yes?

The bottom line is what you've been told below. Get a buyers Broker. They will give you every comp for the area and negotiate hard on your behalf. After all, you seem to have something going for yourself as there are no other offers. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
You need to get a buyer's agent. They can advise you on exactly this situation, as well as others that may arise. A buyer's agent should be paid by the seller, not you, so you get an agent representing your interests at no cost to you; it should be a no lose situation. Good luck!
Tom Brady SFR, e-Pro, SRES, GREEN
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Ret. NYPD Lt.
631-682-8660
Tom@BradyFamilyRealty.com
http://www.BradyFamilyRealty.com
"We treat you like family!"
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Plaza - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
I would like to provide the 8 steps of E-book for first-time home buyers,

Linked here -> https://dl.dropbox.com/u/78529658/FirstHomeByer_eBook-8%20St…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
You need to have an agent work with you, find out the right price at that area and negotiate for you. The price on DOB actually is base for property tax. It usually has different than the real market price. You can call me at 631-889-1124 or send me an email at JudyYang@ExitRealtyTeam.com. I would be happy to help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
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