I'm interested in a house that is selling in a high-end area. The house is over priced since it only has 3 bedrooms and (but online is listed

Asked by Melissa_sterling, Fairfax Station, VA Fri Dec 11, 2009

as 4) Would I be way off base to offer $777,000 when they are asking $899,000? The thing is there are no 3 bedroom listings to compare it to in the area. Recently a 5 bedroom 5 and 1/2 bath home that is comparable to the home I'm interested in sold for $875,000. They were similar in every way except the bedrooms and the baths, the house I want has 3 and 1/2 baths. How much value do extra bedrooms add? This is in the northern virginia area. The house was originally listed on 9/16/09 as 949,000--brought down on 10/23/09 to 899. It's being sold by original 1988 owners who are moving out of state in a few weeks. Any advice on how to carefully make a good bid on this? Also a plus factor is we can move in in 2 weeks -- we have a large down payment and we have our loan already fully approved with the bank.

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Lauren Smerbeck’s answer
Lauren Smerb…, Agent, Springfield, VA
Wed Jan 6, 2010
Hi Melissa, as a Top Producing Agent who lived in Fairfax Station, there are many considerations in deciding on an offering price. First, a updated CMA is necessary to see what has sold, and what has sold short. Most homes that sell in this area are not short, as you mentioned the home is owned by the original owner, as many in this area are. The homes values in parts of Fairfax Station did not fall as much as other areas in Fairfax County. There are many reasons why, but the amount of land, the density and the school system are factors.
And as others mentioned, you need representation, because after the contract is written is when the real work begins.
Hope this helps.
Lauren Smerbeck
RE/MAX Allegiance
Lifetime Top Producer
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Dec 11, 2009
I assume it's the property on Brimstone in Ardmore Woods?

From its listing, and from the one down the block on Brimstone, that other one looks a lot nicer--inside and out--than the one you're interested in. True, there aren't other great comps, either, but just looking at other recent sales in the same area--and the withdrawn properties, the listing agent was, let's say, optimistic in what he was expecting.

A property--4 bed/2.5 baths, slightly older--on Streamwood sold back in June for $612,000. A 4/3.5 on Highridge is under contract; the list price was $574,900. A 4/2.5 on Hearthstone was withdrawn after being on the market for 151 days; it was listed at $639,000. So these numbers suggest that $777,000 might not be the right figure, either. You really, really, need a Realtor to run a CMA on the property.

Another area of consideration: It's the original sellers. The property probably is paid off or close to it. I'm guessing they're retiring, probably moving south or west. So, while they don't have a huge mortgage to pay every month, they probably want out, and pretty quickly. So they're probably motivated. The weather's turned colder, and the market usually slows down until at least January. So they're probably looking at a couple of months, at least, of the house not selling. And if it's priced $250,000 above the comps (roughly), then it's not likely to sell any time soon.

Problem is, they may accepted the idea that their home is worth around $900,000. So they may not be mentally prepared to accept a more realistic offer.

And if it's the house on Brimstone, I know the area well. My office is on Burke Centre Parkway. My cousin lives right across 123 from the development. One of my son's best friends lives on Chapel Road about half a mile from that house. And--with the disclaimer that I haven't been in that particular house--I repeat: You really need a CMA in order not to make an offer that, while below the listing price, might still be too high.

So, get a CMA. Then make an offer.

Good luck.

Don Tepper
Long & Foster Realtors
703/244-1772 (cell)
703/503-1453 (direct)
0 votes
Erik Weissko…, Agent, fairfax, VA
Fri Dec 11, 2009

My colleagues below have offered some good insight. The one thing not mentioned..is how much is the house worth to you? You have seen others and obviously this one is peaking your interest the most. Some will overpay because it's the house they want..and they are Ok with that. Value is in the eyes of the purchaser first..but then there is the appraiser! A few years ago..I listed and sold a 3br home in Vienna for 1.2 million...so...every situation is unique!

A good buyers' agent will be able to give you the peace of mind you need to structure your offer. Note I say "structure" the offer. Filling in the blanks...is NOT what I am talking about. Feel free to contact with any questions.

Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CRS,GRI
0 votes
Danilo Bogda…, Agent, Reston, VA
Fri Dec 11, 2009
You need your own Buyer's Agent/REALTOR to answer those questions for you and guide you in the right direction. For any of us to answer your questions would be NOT be OK because it is not in the best interest of the seller and, in Virginia, without a signed Buyer's Agency Agreement, every agent/REALTOR represents the seller by default.

Danilo Bogdanovic
Real Estate Consultant/REALTOR
0 votes
Ramesh Chand…, Agent, Arlington, TX
Fri Dec 11, 2009
U should use a professional buyer agent to help u out.
Any answers here will be too generic to make the deal happen.
Ramesh Chandra
703 635 8209
0 votes
Stan Reed, Agent, Chantilly, VA
Fri Dec 11, 2009
The tax record shows the 4th bedroom/den in the basement, the house has a septic system and is on about 2 acres. This house is at 1455 Beulah right? Are you working with an agent now? If not I would be glad to work with you to look at all the variables and help you put together an offer. I may be contacted via my web site listed below if you wish. If you are working with a Realtor already then please continue to do so.

Hope this helps.

Stan Reed, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
Cell 703-606-0336
0 votes
Lauryn Eadie, Agent, Reston, VA
Fri Dec 11, 2009

The other agents are correct in advising you to make an offer. However you should check with a Realtor to make sure that you would be getting a good deal at $777. It might be much lower than the asking price, but you don't know what the actual value of the property you are interested in is without a CMA, comparable market analysis, and keeping in mind the specific attributes of the home you are interested in has. I dont know the area you are looking in, but a 3 bedroom single family home for $777, sounds expensive to me...You generally can not add more bedrooms on the upper level and you might want to consider that when thinking of re-sale value down the road... If you do not already have a buyer's agent working for you, I would be happy to speak more with you and work for you on your behalf as a buyers agent to make sure you get the right deal for you. I work primarily in Fairfax County and would like to share what I can do for you as a buyer's representative.

Lauryn Eadie
Long and Foster Realtors
Direct: 703-898-4771
Licensed in Virginia
0 votes
Barbara Swav…, Agent, Reston, VA
Fri Dec 11, 2009
You never know till you Try! The seller situattion is always unknown and all circumstances could work.Call or email me for more information.
Web Reference:  http://barbaraswavely.com
0 votes
Melinda Ray, Agent, Columbia, SC
Fri Dec 11, 2009
Make them an offer!!!! They can always say no.....offer the 777K
0 votes
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