Home Buying in Washington>Question Details

Trulia Washi…, Other/Just Looking in Charlotte, NC

What is the smartest way to determine how flexible a seller is on their asking price?

Asked by Trulia Washington DC, Charlotte, NC Wed Apr 24, 2013

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4
Excellent answers from my colleagues but what you are asking for is the seller's motivation and that is what your agent will do for you, make that assessment or find out the information to bring back to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 25, 2013
The listing agent sometimes will share more information than you would have expected- so go ahead and ask questions at the open house. You may be surprised what you find out!

Sometimes though you are just flying blind, and you have to trust your instincts. There is nothing worse in the house buying process than to find out three months later that someone got a home that you liked for a price that you would have paid - but you didn't make the offer - and they did. If the house has been on the market for a while you can come in under list price, but if it is new on the market, then be prepared for a competitive bidding situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 24, 2013
The answer to this question really depends on the type of listing and how long it has been active. Multiple offers, escalation clauses, and minimal contingencies seem to the norm right now here in DC. A reasonably priced listing is likely to receive multiple offers within days of being listed, making the typical back-and-forth negotiations we see on HGTV unlikely.

If a property has been active for a little while you, as a buyer, have a better chance at determining just how flexible a seller's price is. Coming in with a solid offer based on market trends and comparable properties is always advised. Also, you should be prepared for the seller to counter your initial offer. While your goal is to get the best deal, the seller's goal is usually to make the most profit that he/she can. This back and forth is where your REALTOR can really prove their value. From advice on structuring your initial offer to helping you negotiate counter(s), your REALTOR should be able to walk you through each step of the process.

Jesse C. Sutton
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 24, 2013
Start a "negotiating conversation" by making an offer. Start with a somewhat reasonable offer, not a total lowball offer that will likely antagonize a seller in a seller's market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 24, 2013
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