Home Buying in Gaithersburg>Question Details

Christina Sa…, Home Buyer in Gaithersburg, MD

On average how much can you negotiate the sale price on a 3-4 bedroom as a buyer?

Asked by Christina Santos, Gaithersburg, MD Tue Apr 13, 2010

The most I can feasably afford is $150,000 and the minimum price for the houses in my daughter's school district is around $180,000 so that's where my question stems from.

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Maria Avellaneda’s answer
Chrisitina, not sure how you obtain the figure of 180. Thes days everything is negotiable. How much you can get a price down varies a lot. You have been given some of the reasons. The biggest issue is if the sellers can afford to reduce without getting money out of their pocket to sell. For that reason, yes homes that have been on the market for a while from owners that have been in their home for a minimum of 7 years the longer the better assuming they haven't updatd and gotten laons to retrieve thier equity. Keep in mind taxes and HOA which make your payment higher and there is no negotiation in these two areas. L:ast a home with less baths than the standard are hard to sell and you can get better deals on them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 17, 2010
Well, let's be clear: you can make an offer to the seller of just about anything, the matter here is not what is allowed to happen but what you can typically get away with. It's a numbers game. There are almost certainly properties out there that can take a 18% price reduction and be okay with that, and there are certainly others that cannot.

You should secure the services of a buyer's agent, and let them know the school district you need to be in, and go from there. Let your agent know you realize you will have to make a slightly lower offer, but be willing to make concessions of your own, such as condition of the property, or not asking the sellers to make repairs, pay closing, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010

You have received some great advice. The only thing I can suggest is to look for properties (with your Buyer's Agent) that have not been updated for many years. Their lack of modernization, means the Seller and his/her Agent should understand a reasonable offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
Great Answer Don !!..... Christina, Listen to Don :)
Web Reference: http://www.rickriley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
As Rick says, start making offers.

I'm sure your Realtor will have some ideas on which properties are more likely to accept an offer in your affordability range. However, here are a few suggestions:

Look for properties that have been owned by the same person/couple for 10 years or more. Reason: If someone bought recently, they don't have much equity in the property. They might owe $160,000 and just hope to break even by selling for $180,000. You want someone who bought long enough ago that they owe approximately $130,000 or less. So you've got to go back aways.

Unfortunately, most of the properties I brought up in the $175,000-$200,000 price range in Gaithersburg are short sales. But there are a few bought a while back with plenty of equity.

Look for motivated sellers. That includes people who've had their homes on the market for a long time. That also includes people who are trying to sell a vacant house. It means they've moved but still have to pay the mortgage. There are a number of them that have been on the market for quite a while.

Also, be creative. Look for properties for rent. Have your agent approach the owners and ask if they'd be interested in selling instead. Sometimes people rent their properties because they figure it'd be too much hassle to sell, especially in today's market. Some of those would-be landlords would love to sell their properties.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Christina....that's an easy one. ...you know how much you can afford, and you know where you want to live.... so all you have to do is start making offers. Take a swing at anything you like that's remotely within reach. You might get turned down but just keep trying.

However, Keep in mind that "the amount you can afford" will be the monthly payment..... The loan you can qualify for could be more or less than $150,000 depending on the interest rate.

Go make offers.. you can do this!
Web Reference: http://www.rickriley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
It will really just boil down to what the seller is willing to accept. Each situation is different. With the current tax incentives and spike in buyer activity in Montgomery County, prices aren't likely to change drastically. Your best bet in finding a seller willing to reduce his/her price is to find a home that has been on the market for quite a while or find a property whose owner is in distress. If you'd like to talk about these strategies further, feel free to drop me a line.
Web Reference: http://www.peterboscas.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
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