Home Buying in Columbus>Question Details

Maria Boyle, Both Buyer and Seller in New Jersey

When should we bid on a house?

Asked by Maria Boyle, New Jersey Tue Jun 4, 2013

We found a house we like but it has only been on the market for 12 days. The house is price right but the most we could afford to pay is 95% of asking. We've bid on other houses and won but for certain reasons we canceled those purchases. I really want this house as it is across the street from my sister (and unfortunately the seller knows it). But I've ran the #'s and 95% is the best we could do. How and when do we bid on this house? (live in New Jersey)

Help the community by answering this question:


1. Find a REALTOR® you trust to be your Buyer's Agent, and ask him/her to look up recent comparable sales in the town where your sister lives.

2. Ask your REALTOR® to give you the average percentage of selling price to listing price for that town. The house you're interested in may sell at a higher or lower percentage than this average, but at least it gives you a place to start.

3. As soon as you have #1 and #2, put in an offer. If you "really want" that house, how will you feel if someone else buys it at a price that you were willing to pay? Remember that your offer is just a starting point for the negotiations. Once you have a contract signed by both you and the seller, you still have attorney review and a home inspection to go through.

4. Finally, review the reasons why you decided not to go through with the other offers that you said were accepted. Could any of those reasons also apply to the house across the street from your sister?


Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739 (cell) (732) 530-6686 (office)

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Thank you, Len! I really like your points. My realtor (the sister of a friend of mine) did give me comps of selling prices but I found a few that were left off and they brought the avg selling price down considerably. This is where a trusted agent comes in handy. I will definitely have to put together an avg of selling-to-list price of her comps (plus three more I found). Great advice! Thanks again!
Flag Thu Jun 6, 2013
Give me a call. Id love to help you if you're not already working with an agent.

Samuel Rifkin
The Rifkin Team
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 2, 2013
Thank you, Maria, for picking mine as the "Best Answer".

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 6, 2013
You really need a trusted agent on your side. We can not help you on something specific like this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 5, 2013
Hi Maria,
You don't state where you are looking. Many of the markets in NJ are hot right now! And, houses don't even last 12 days. If you love the house, you need to move on it now.
If you don't have an agent representing you, get one! The house could be over priced or underpriced. Do not look at the asking price as a true market value. Sellers can ask anything. The 95% you say you can afford might be too much! But, if its priced too low, you might see it go above asking!
It is unfortunate that the seller knows your situation. That hurts you and/or your agent during negotiations.
So, to place an offer, your agent just puts it in writing and submits it with a preapproval, sellers disclosure, copy of your good faith check, and a copy of the listing.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
BTW we are in Mansfield (Columbus) NJ which is in Burlington County, I guess Central Jersey.
Flag Tue Jun 4, 2013
Thank you for your response. I have seen the comps in this area and I have done a little analysis myself. (I am a financial analysit in asset management). I think its priced right. I have been looking and analizing this area for several months and I rarely see a house go above asking. I have seen many houses revise their prices downward and only then get close to asking. Again I do analysis for a living and in all honesty we can afford the 95% or better but that doesn't mean we should strap ourselves down to the house. My husband and I are conservative we plan to do a 80/20 loan and this will leave us with some money on the sidelines (in savings). Bottom line is I don't want to spend much over 95% and I want to know what the best strategy is... and since we're talking strategy, my father worked with this gentleman... (and they've talked now and then) do you think that could be used to our advantage?? (I appreciate your advice!)
Flag Tue Jun 4, 2013
As Tim stated, biddig is the WRONG word.
I know, you anticipate getting into a 'bidding' situation, but that is entirely differant.
Have your agent write up the purchase offer that you wish to begin with. If the local market is 'hot' you need to do this as soon as possible. You've got to start the coversation before someone else makes your decision for you.
The stategy to use will depend on the local market, desirability of this home, competition, your agility and any 'poision' pills that may be present. The real estate professional you hired to represent you will be essential in completing this analysis. Use this agent to write and present your purchase offer to the listing agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Yes, I have been through this process before but I think the strategy may be to wait awhile (at least, that's what I think). I have been in a situation before when I made an offer in the first week and they out right turned us down (90% of asking). Then after a week realized they were hasty and came back with a small movement downward. I just don't want to be in that position again.
Flag Tue Jun 4, 2013
Bidding is the wrong term to use. Bids are made in an auction. You have put in offers and they remain offers until accepted then the offer becomes a contract. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
It really sounds like you have not gotten Pre-Approved;
Possibly you can afford more.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
We have been pre-approved several times but they run out every 30 days so we always get a new letter. We happen to have three kids three years and under (1.5yr twins) and so daycare costs are about $2,000/mo. When they run pre-approvals, for some reason, these very large expenses, are not factored in monthly expenses.
Flag Tue Jun 4, 2013
You should put your offer in as soon as possible. In this market, if the property is priced fairly, you need to act quick. You should not make your best offer first. Reserve your best offer as a "final & best" offer.

What part of NJ is the property in? I work in Southern NJ (Cape May & Atlantic Counties). I have a great success working with buyers in negotiating deals. Let me know if I can be of service to you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Thank you! I have a RE agent but I was looking for an "unbias" opinion. I area is located in Central NJ, Burlington County, Columbus (Mansfield).
Flag Tue Jun 4, 2013
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