How do you find out how flexible is the seller on the asking price?

Asked by Trulia New York, New York Tue Jan 22, 2013

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Sebastian Akerman’s answer
Sebastian Ak…, Agent, New York, NY
Sat Feb 9, 2013
Brokers are instrumental in tracking closed sales costs and trending listing prices in the neighborhoods that you like. It's always good to start with the building itself when submitting your first offer. It gets more involved than that but from a buyer's broker's standpoint, closed sales data is the best indicator at first. The landlord's rep is not likely to disclose more than if current offers are above or below asking.
0 votes
Elena Ravich,…, Agent, New York City, NY
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Before starting negotiating the offer, check the listing history - how long this place has been on the market and how many times the seller has reduced the price during this period - it shows the seller's level of motivation. If someone has not reduced the price even once in 8 months, it means they are not in the rush to sell and will rather sit and wait for the right buyer than go down in price. If someone has reduced the price 2-3 times during 4 month - they are probably very serious about selling and, perhaps you have a more room to negotiate.

Also, before making an offer do the comps and find most similar apartments sold within 3 months, adjust for the level of renovation, light, views, outdoor space and come up with a reasonable price range.

In the summer-fall 2012 prices in Manhattan were negotiable roughly within 5% of the asking (when not overpriced). Now I feel there is slightly more room because there is very little inventory and sellers are trying to leverage this fact. I would make the first offer about 15% below the asking price and sere what they say.
0 votes
James Deskins, Agent, Worthington, OH
Thu Jan 24, 2013
You make an offer..............
1 vote
Short, sweet and to the point!
Flag Thu Jan 24, 2013
Nicolas Puyg…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Janet is right, the best way to know it is to make an offer.


Nicolas Puygrenier ǀ Licensed Real Estate Broker
Mona Lisa Real Estate Group LLC
419 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003
Telephone: 917 499 1917
0 votes
Manuel Ramir…, Home Buyer, California
Wed Jan 30, 2013
My experience says that not every seller will be willing to bargain. So if your strategy is to make smooth low offers then plan to make different offers on several properties before you connect with a seller who will deal. This is best to go.
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Janet Nation,…, Agent, Baldwin, NY
Fri Jan 25, 2013
You'll find out quick enough when you make that offer.

Janet Nation, CBR
Sailing Home Realty
Direct: 646-321-9649
Office: 516-377-4760
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
0 votes
Rolando Fana, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Jan 24, 2013
The way to find out is by first dancing. Make an offer if they come back near their listing price that would tell you they may not be flexible. But keep on dancing because they may need to after all. Its all a game of chicken. Who blinks first?
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Eric Deteli…, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Typically the final sales price in New York City is 3-7% below the asking price.

You never want to make a ridiculous offer because you risk insulting the seller and they might consider not doing business with you. I've advised my clients based on research of comparables (what is still on the market/what has sold) and usually make an offer of 10-15% off the asking price (depending on their situation).

After you've made the inital offer you have to get a counter offer from the seller's agent. If you do not get one right away you sometimes have to let a day pass before calling the seller's agent and asking for one. Then you can begin a serious negotiation.

Everything in Real Estate can be negotiable. It largely depends on the market and the buyer's/seller's situation.
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Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Exactly the same way a SELLER finds out how high a BUYER will go on their purchase offer!

The formula used most commonly by a buyer is:
1. Start with the ridiculous.
2. Hope for the miraculous
3. Settle for the obvious.

It all begins with the aid of a real pro and opening the conversation supported with real data.
The 'find out' aspect requires research and observation. Or, you can ask..."is this the your absolute , very best offer to sell? Is this your very lowest price?" Yeah, that'll work.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, Fl
0 votes
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Good morning Trulia!

The best way to find out ANYTHING about the Seller's mindset on any home sale is simple: MAKE AN OFFER. The Seller's reaction to your opening bid and subsequent counter-offers will tell you the level of motivation the Seller has to sell. And that motivation sets the tone for "flexibility."

But how does a Buyer determine the best opening and final Offer prices? It's difficult deciding what is a good offer to make when you find a house you like.

Before you make offers, you have to know your maximum financing amount/purchase price.

First things first: when making an offer, focus on what your monthly payment will be for the mortgage financing, including taxes and insurance. If that payment is within your means, then your Mortgage Banker will determine the maximum loan/purchase price for you based on all the factors of the monthly payment, your down payment and your mortgage qualifications.

Begin making an offer with the following standards:

1. WISH LIST. Does the home meet MOST of the requirements from your Dream-Home-Wish-List? The Dream Home exists only in our minds; it's NOT out there waiting for you to stumble across it one Saturday afternoon. But you can find the right home using your Wish List. When you find the home that meets most of your requirements from the wish list, then it's time to make an offer.

2. FORGET LIST PRICE. Based on your own research, shopping in your chosen area, select the price you're most comfortable with, regardless of list price/asking price. In other words, you'll find a home listed at $268,000, but you've seen at least a dozen other similarly constructed homes in the immediate area priced or sold at $235,000. What makes this home so special that it's priced $33,000 more than the average price? Remember, your Lender will appraise the home based on similar homes and those prices.

3. MAXIMUM OFFER. Never exceed the price based on your mortgage qualifications, no matter how much you LOVE the home. You have to be able to afford the payment for the next thirty years. That in-ground swimming pool you love isn't going to pay the mortgage for you!

4. OFFERS ARE NOT PERSONAL. An offering price can NEVER be misconstrued as an insult to the homeowner. This is business; you're not going to hurt anyone's feelings! Make the offer based on a price you're most comfortable with!

5. OPENING OFFER. NEVER open with your maximum offering price. Test the waters with your opening bid: you want to see if this Seller is a SERIOUS Seller who understands this is a BUYER'S MARKET. If there's no reaction to your offer---assuming the price you offered is within the reasonable range of current market prices---you may be wasting your time with this home/Seller. It might be time to move on to another home.

See my "Five Steps To Making An Offer" for the best way to negotiate on your home purchase.…

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
0 votes
William McBu…, , New York, NY
Tue Jan 22, 2013
You make an offer that is designed to get acceptance or a counter-offer;
if there is no response after a period of time, you have to raise your offer.
0 votes
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