Home Buying in Piscataway>Question Details

Matt, Home Buyer in East Brunswick, NJ

Is this too low of a bid? There is a 2 Br/2.5 Ba Townhouse in Piscataway, NJ listing for $309,900 through a

Asked by Matt, East Brunswick, NJ Thu Mar 6, 2008

private seller. It has 1500 sq.ft. with a full finished basement, Eat In Kitchen, hardwood floors, fireplace. The taxes are estimated at $5300 and the maintenance fee is $180/month.

I see that the owner purchased this unit back in 2002 for $177,000. If I put in a starting bid for $250,000, would that just be a slap in the face? I would not pay more than $270,000 for this place.

It seems like they are inflating the price a little.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Matt,

It can't hurt to try. But I would only pay what current units just sold for, maybe slightly less given current market conditions. And don't forget to take $15,000+/- off for the commission that the seller is not paying. Forget about what they paid, it's irrelevant. The current sales/listings are all that matter. That's where your "final price" needs to be.
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
As the other answers recommend, look at the comps. Figure out what the unit is really, truly, worth. Then that's your maximum figure.

Now, you say you wouldn't pay more than $270,000. You don't say whether that's based on the comps (in which case that's your ceiling), whether that's based on what you can afford (in which case, that, too, is your ceiling), or just a gut reaction (which isn't as relevant here). But let's say $270,000 is the absolute ceiling either because of comps or what you can pay.

There's a tendency in the United States to "split the difference." A bad way of negotiating, but widely accepted. So, if you put in an offer at $250,000 and the seller wants to "split the difference," you'll end up around $280,000. And that's higher than your maximum. (Doesn't always work that way, but it does surprisingly often.) So, to answer your specific question, an offer of $250,000 might not be too low. Instead, it might be too high.

Would it be a "slap in the face" to the seller? Who cares? It's important only if you love the unit and absolutely want to keep negotiations going with the seller. If you've got a price, then negotiate in order to get your price.

Now, some very good agents here will have another strategy: Make an offer, back it up with as must documentation and justification as you can, and make it clear that your offer is your "best and final" one. A "take it or leave it" offer, but supported by enough data to fully justify the offer. And that strategy is definitely something you should consider. I prefer the first approach, but more agents will go for the second.

In either case, though, don't worry about insulting a seller. It's your purchase; it's your money; it's your home; it's your finances.

Hope that helps.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
One seller may decline to counter if you offer 250K and another may enter discussions with you that eventually lead to a meeting of the minds at 270K.

As a Realtor, I encourage buyers to write offers for amounts that represent their assessment of value and for the amount they are willing to pay. You never know what a seller will do with a written offer presented. If the seller declines to counter.....move on. But, you won't know if you don't write the offer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Well you could look at it that way, You have to understand it does not matter what he paid for the house you have to look at its market value, also if you feel comfortable making an offer on a piece of property your offering to much. Make your offer and stick to your guns
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
Hi Matt.

You should start by first having your agent run the comps of the 2 bed/2.5 bath townhouses that recently sold in that complex (deducting 1/2 % per month of the sales price from the under contract date) so you'll know what it's actually worth in today's market. Irregardless of what the seller initially paid for it, they have earned and gained value in their home's equity and thus are entitled to it when they sell.

You are free to offer whatever price you would like but if the comps support your offer price - it'll definitely be in your favor and put you in a better position for negotations. For starters, get yourself a buyer's agent and they should guide you from there.

Good Luck!

Gina Chirico
Prudential NJ Properties
973-228-1000 ext 132
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
You need to look at what the area has recently sold for to make the determination if this too low a bid or not. Without knowing the complex I can't give you any specific sales data but your agent should be able to.If you need help please feel free to contact me. Good luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
I couldn't figure out if there's a way to e-mail you directly. Anyway the MLS is 813721. It's on realtor.com. The link is http://www.realtor.com/search/listingdetail.aspx?zp=08854&am…

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 13, 2008
What is the address of your condo? Do you have a link that has pictures and everything it features?

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 12, 2008
Are you interested in a condo that is 1100 square feet? 2 beds, 2 baths for about $240K? Taxes are about 3600. I'm selling one in Piscataway.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 12, 2008
I always tell my buyers "If you were the seller, would you accept this offer?" It all comes down to motivation, both yours and the sellers. If you really want a home because it is the "perfect one" then you negotiate with the goal of obtaining the house. If you are just looking for bargains, then offer whatever you want. You never know. Maybe you'll find a desparate sellerat the right time. When is an offer "insulting". Well, that's subjective of course, but check the comps and stay "within the range" on the low side and you should be fine.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 12, 2008
Thank you everyone for the advice! I really appreciate it. The owner is looking to sell by this June since he is moving to Georgia for his job, so I am assuming he will wait until he can find the highest bidder.

I went to visit the place this past Sunday and was not too impressed, which is why I will not be putting a bid in on the property.

For future properties, I will be sure to get a report of what similar properties in the same area have sold for with similar specs...

Thanks again!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 12, 2008
I saw there are 4 more condo/townhouses sold in Piscataway for past few days... http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=662689691&s… Did you get one? just curious ...

By the way, my friend just made an offer of that townhouse at $270,000, but he did not get it; he may get it for $285k or $290k. He really like Piscataway because he said now the Rt 18 took off all the traffic light, when the highway all complete by end of 2008, Piscataway will be even more desirable... How do you think?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2008
If you take a look at all condo/townhouses listing for sale at Piscataway http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=662689691&s… and all the sold units, you may have all the information you need to make an educated decision ... http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=662689691&s…
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
two more 2br units just sold at Society Hill Piscataway ...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2008
I just came across this wonderful or fantastic virtual tour that you sure want to take a look at, Matt. http://vt.realbiz360.com/Listing-32434.html It seems to be a perfect match on your description above.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 17, 2008
Wow! It is Society Hill at Piscataway http://societyhillatpiscataway.blogspot.com/ One of the best condo/townhouse communities at Piscataway with nice playground, tennis court and swimming pool.

It also has one of the most professional management companies in the area ... http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 13, 2008
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