Need advice regarding offer price of a home I am interested in.

Asked by Ron248, Brooklyn, NY Sat Dec 24, 2011

I found a home listed at 970,000 and interested but can only afford 860,000 and got pre-approved for this amount. The listing has been on for around 4 months and going to submit my offer to the seller shortly. Is my offer reasonable or fair? thanks.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Trevor Curran’s answer
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Fri Jul 13, 2012
Dear Ron,

The only way to know for sure is to make an offer, and whether you are making an offer on this particular property or any other, you don't have to offer your maximum price to open up a dialog and get the ball rolling.

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
0 votes
Barbara Espo…, Home Owner, New York
Thu Apr 19, 2012

I have a home in Bay Ridge Brooklyn for sale. It is a large corner home on Ovington Avenue and 6th Avenue with a two car garage.

If interested, feel free to contact me at (212) 835-9024.

Barbara Esposito
0 votes
Jerry Cibuls…, Agent, Southold, NY
Tue Dec 27, 2011
Every offer should be placed on a home. Clarity will be obtained when you know what the recent sales of homes like this property have been. The selling price of similar homes establishes the market value in todays market. You can not look at past sales or future market trends when establishing value. Value is inherent in todays market dynamics. If other homes have sold around $860.000, then you will have a good offer and information to support that offer. Some homes are priced at different price points based on condition, features and location. Many home sales in a segment are the lowest priced offerings in the segment. If that means this were not updated and sold for a lower number, that needs to be adjusted if you are looking and a newly updated home. Same concerns come into play for pools etc. This is a market that has plenty of selections and there are great opportunities if you can purchase at this time. Happy House Hunting!
0 votes
Mikel DeFran…, Agent, Canton, MA
Mon Dec 26, 2011
Ron... 2 things:

#1) Asking price has no basis as to the true price the home will sell for. The fact it's been on for 4 months bodes well but maybe it sells for $930K, or $900K etc. But since you can only afford $860K ... your hands are tied. I would suggest putting that in as your highest / best offer that you can make and see what happens. Normally an unfairly low offer certainly can hurt in putting a deal together, but since you're at your ceiling it doesn't matter to you... put it in and good luck
0 votes
Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Mon Dec 26, 2011
Dear Ron248:

The important question is "how much is this home worth?" If it is worth what the homeowner is asking then he will most likely get a bunch of offers and be able to sell it quickly. The fact that the property has been on the market for four months means nothing. The owner may have several offers on the table and he is waiting for someone to give the full price, who knows? Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Without viewing a home it is impossible to formulate an opinion as to it's value. Hence without knowing the specific property you are referring to, there is no way anyone can give you sound advice. If you feel as though the house is worth $860,00 or more you should put your best foot forward and submit your offer and see what happens.

When the disparity between an asking price and an offer is to large, usually it will not happen. However, you have nothing to lose by submitting your offer. If I can be of further assistance, please let me know. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
0 votes
First Last, , 90002
Sun Dec 25, 2011
This will be a low offer but you never know until you ask.....however, I would suggest you immediately keep looking, and try to limit yourself to houses that better fit your budget. Many Brooklyn sellers have deep pockets and they often expect to take months to sell, and they are better off waiting for an offer close to their expectations.

Karla Harby
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Sun Dec 25, 2011
You really should be working with a Buyer Broker who could advise you on the true market value of the property you're interested in.

The Listing agent works for the Seller and whether they feel the property is properly priced or not they are obligated to defend the price. Buyer brokers work for the buyer and could care less about the Seller.

Sellers may ask anything they like, but only a ready, willing, able ( and hopefully sane) Buyer determines market value. I have no doubt there are similar properties that have sold within the past 6-12 months and a good buyer broker will know about them and be able to analyze the property you're interested in against those that have sold. They can then offer yo a report clearly indicating the real market value of the property you're interested in based on the ones that have sold. This is the same information they will use when presenting your offer to the Sellers agent.

Having a buyer broker will not cost you anything , their paid out of the Sellers total commission that the Seller has already agreed to pay their agent, If you have a buyer broker then there's no need to be posting your questions on Trulia, if you don't and aren't sure how to find a good one, read the attached blog post I put up on Trulia not that long ago.

Best of luck to you and I hope you're able to make your deal.
0 votes
Donald Mituz…, Agent, Kaatonah, NY
Sun Dec 25, 2011
Your agent should be able to guide you to let you know if your offer is reasonable or fair. Question is, who does your agent represent? Make sure they are representing you and you have a copy of the signed agency disclosure form. Your agent should be able to provide you with a list of comparable properties that have sold, not currently listed, that should help guide you.

Your offer sounds low to me, but the house has been on the market for 4 months. You agent should be your best guide.

Good luck!

Donald Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Prudential Douglas Elliman
Cell: 914-924-8581
Web Reference:
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sat Dec 24, 2011
You are assuming that the LISTING PRICE is set in stone, or at least fairly rigid.
Do you know what the reasoning and logic there is behind assigning that LISTING PRICE?
In fact, there very well may be NO logic nor reasoning behind that number.
That number probably is what the Seller wants: So What!

Have you had a good Realtor, do a good CMA to determine what the Market Value of the house is?
You could have an Appraisal done, but I wouldn't recommend spending $500 on a house that isn't yours, yet.
What are you going to do, if you did offer $970,000 and the Appraisal came in at $860,000? You will have spent the $500, only to find out that you cannot have the house.

If you have a Realtor do the CMA, you will have a good idea what it is worth and be able to make your offer accordingly; you can even include a copy of the CMA with your offer.

It may be that $860,000 is a good offer, but you don't know!

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sat Dec 24, 2011
Who is writing this offer for you and why do they think it is worth their time and effort to write an offer that is so far off the asking price?
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Sat Dec 24, 2011
Hi, it really depends on the sellers motivation, how long they have owned the home, and what other similar homes in the immediate area have sold for recently. That is the trinity of offer making...

0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Dec 24, 2011
In order to determine a fair offer review comps with your agent, recently sold similar properties in the immediate area, see what the data suggests and go from there; don't rely on any online estimates, as some may not be accurate, nor updated....
0 votes
Martina Ryan, Agent, Bayside, NY
Sat Dec 24, 2011
This seems to be a huge jump from the asking price.The seller may give you a counter offer, but on the other hand he may be upset & decline your offer. It is difficult to give a reasonable answer without looking at the property & comparing it to what else is available out there in that same area. Good luck!
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Dec 24, 2011
Hi Ron,

This is one of the many services provided y real estate professionals. Working via an informed local realtor that knows and understands the recent market activity may help greatly.

Good luck,

0 votes
Anthony Lamb…, Agent, New York, NY
Sat Dec 24, 2011
Dear Home Buyer,

Whether your offer is reasonable or fair depends on a number of factors such the amounts at which comparable properties in the area were sold. Your agent, if you are working with one, should be able to advise you on what is fair for that home. Regardless, just make sure that you present as many positive aspects about your offer as possibly applicable (for example, all cash deal or have a prequalification letter from the bank you will actually get the loan from).

Good luck,

Anthony Lambrides
Atlas Sales Realty
0 votes
Julie Thum, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sat Dec 24, 2011
Hello. Ron. If you have not engaged the services of a real estate agent or broker to represent you, then you are at a disadvantage, as they would obviously have been able to run comps for you & advise you as to whether or not your offer was too high or too low. The question you asked can not be answered without having information such as the address & condition. As a real estate professional in the industry for almost 25 years, I would advise you to look at the Zillow "zestimate" as a guide since you appear to be doing this on your own. Good luck to you. Julie Thum, RE/MAX Metro
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more