We are first time home buyers. We are searching for home to meet our monthly mortage budget of

Asked by Trudy, Carlisle, PA Sun Apr 5, 2009

$900 or less(home prices around $125,000). What is a reasonable % off to be used when making your first offer?

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Mim Heisey, , Shippensburg, PA
Mon Apr 6, 2009
Whether a first time home buyer or a seasoned buyer looking for a step up, the same basics apply.
The question should never be what % off should I offer. The pertinent question is "What is a fair market price for this home??
Let me pose this illustration for you. If you are shopping for coffee mugs, and you see a "50% off sale" you would of course stop and look, wouldn't you? But if the 'sale' price is $14.99 for the same type of coffee mug that is advertised at the store next door for $8.00.......! Which is the better buy?? 50% off of $29.98?? or 'full' price of $8.00??
Do yourself a favor and find an experienced Realtor to help you shop. (Yes, I know!!. "Here they go again, pushing their REALTOR stuff.") A realestate agent is like having, among other things, a certified shopping service on your side. Why wouldn't you make use of it?
Just a thought.

Hope that helps
1 vote
William Rudge, Agent, Boiling Springs, PA
Sun Apr 5, 2009
Trudy, if you are a first time home buyer I would not be so concerned with what % less of advertised price you might expect to offer but rather what are the possibilities of seller's closing cost assistance possibly combined with a lower offering price. There is no "set" lower price % to offer. I have seen homes sold for full price, 3-5% lower, 10%, etc. It all depends upon the motivation of the seller(s) ,and the condition, and location of the property. If you chose to use an FHA mortgage you may ask for up to 6% seller's assistance with 3% of your own cash required. If you are going to have a mortgage of $125,000 your $900.00 per month budget might be a bit low. Hopefully you have sat down with a mortgage originator and went over your budget. You should be pre-qualified, not just pre-approved, for your mortgage before seriously looking at homes. You should ask your mortgage provider to create and review with you a "Good Faith Estimate" based upon the payment you would like to make so you can see "all" of the costs involved, how much cash you will need out of your pocket, and what price range you can expect to afford to make an offer on. We are in a good market for buyers as long as you are realistic in your goals. Far too many people think that they can buy homes in the $150,000 to $100,000 price range and expect to get things like 6% seller's closing cost assistance and a big price reduction. My recent selling client turned down flat an offer of $140,000 with 6% ($8,400) in closing cost assistance. The house is on the market at $152,900. They expected the seller to lower the price by $12,900 and then give them an additional $8,400 for a total of $21,300 off the seller's price. If these are your expectations you should expect the same results unfortunately. If a house listed for sale is priced correctly you might get a 3-5% reduction along with a possible 3% in seller's help or a combination there of. It all depends upon the length of time the home has been on the market, its condition, its location, and most importantly the motivation of the seller(s). If you should need any assistance a "well-qualified" Accredited Buyer's Representative should be able to help you to get the best price on the home of your interest. If you are not working with an agent in the Carlisle yet please consider giving me a call.
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