First time buyer, question on what a fair price is...

Asked by Rick, 10601 Thu Jan 29, 2009

I am looking at a place in Hastings on Hudson that is asking 621k. It is in a new building built in 2008. It's a 1400sq ft 1br loft. It's in the luxury category i suppose.
The price has been that way since the building was built in beginning of 08.

In today's market, the last thing I want to do is overpay for it.
I know it's a pricey unit to begin with, but under today's market conditions I offered 517k.
My math model deducted 15% from the original 621k asking and then I went down another 10k from there.

The counter was 584k.

Does anyone have a suggestion on what a "fair price" might be?
I can provide additional info if needed.
Or, maybe suggest a service (or pay someone?) that will help me to figure this out.

Thx again!

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Debra Goodwin, Agent, Irvington, NY
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Hi Rick,

I believe I am familiar with the building in Hastings, Riverton Lofts... is that the complex? I did some research on that building for a client. What was dificult was that many of the original solds are not on the MLS system because they were never listed, they were marketed independently. At the time I researched it they hadn't been registered with the Town of Greenburgh either. The remaining units are now listed and have been since late summer '07.

The bottom line was that I had to get the sold prices from the current listing office. Your agent can get that information. I was surprised the prices of many of the previous units sold, sold at or very close to asking price. The problem with that is that those prices were negtotiated before our present economic and market condition.

I think your logic is good. Westchester is a pretty strong market even in tough times. Some recent statistics from the WCBR, sales of condos comparing '07 to '08 were down 30.4%. The median price was down only about 1.3%. This tells you that sales are down but prices held pretty strong. I think prices have come down some even since those '07-'08 comparisons because of economic uncertainty, buyers are very cautious.

I hope this helps. It is a buyers market, you are negotiating from a position of strength.

Good luck,

1 vote
Dp2, , Virginia
Thu Jan 29, 2009
I agree with Alan and Gail: a fair price is whatever a buyer is willing to pay.

You probably should have obtained a CMA/BPO and some other market data, before you presented your first offer. You never know . . . properties in that area might have dropped more than 16.61% (using your model). Nevertheless, your initial hunch (that the property is overpriced) was correct, because it would have sold much sooner had the property been priced correctly (with respect to its current market-value).

Gail is also correct that you should counter if you're willing to go above $517K; however, you could also counter with your original offer price. Nevertheless, if you give something, then you should get something in return. For example, let's say you raise your offer price to $525K, then also ask for the builder to pay your closing costs or some free upgrades.
2 votes
Linda Bagley, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Jan 29, 2009
As Alan says, find out what the last 3 comparables sold for within the last 6 months. That would be a fair price. In today's market the value of the home is what it will appraise. Best of luck!
1 vote
Debby Frank, Agent, Scarsdale, NY
Tue Feb 1, 2011
Hi Rick,

I suggest working with a Realtor who can provide comparables of neighboring units, as well as provide intimate details of the property. A Realtor can also representative and negotiate of your behalf.

Debby Frank
Keller Williams Realty
(914) 498-5443
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0 votes
Laura Higgin…, , Sebring, FL
Tue Feb 3, 2009
I would suggest you consult your Realtor and request a detailed Market Evaluation of the property.
You may also make an offer with an contingency subject to the appraisal being acceptable to the buyer and cap the dollar amount.
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Thu Jan 29, 2009
A fair price is what the buyer is willing to pay.

Figure out what you believe the top price you would pay for this is and keep negotiating until you settle at that number or below. If you are willing to go above $517, keep negotiating.

You have a right to have a Realtor represent you; make sure that they are a top negotiator if you do.

Otherwise, let the builder know when when you will not go any higher and stand your ground. Make that number one that is your absolute top and if the property goes for more, even $1 more, you will not regret it.

Unless this is an investment property, you are bidding on your home, a place where you will live. Keep that in mind.
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0 votes
Jennifer Pic…, , Atlanta, GA
Thu Jan 29, 2009
I have the Frist Time Home Buyer Tax Credit info on my website at there are income limitations so seek the advice of your accountant. Jennifer Pickert
0 votes
Alan and Sus…, Agent, New City, NY
Thu Jan 29, 2009
What are comparable homes selling for, and what has sold within the past 6 months comparable to the subject house? Simply put, a house is worth what a buyer is willing and able to pay for it. If you're a first time buyer, you'll also qualify for a tax credit of $7,500. Let us know if you need more information.
0 votes
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