I feel like I lowered my asking price too much based on a recent comp. Can I negotiate up if I get an offer?

Asked by Rxdiana, Palisades Park, NJ Tue Feb 9, 2010

I had pretty good traffic when the price was higher but no offers. I lowered the price in response to another unit lowering their price significantly. No units had sold in our complex in over a year so everyone was working blind. Now I found out my next door neighbor sold for a lot more than my asking price and we have identical units. if I happen to get an offer, can I negotiate up using the comp?

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Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Tue Feb 9, 2010
You say when you were listed at the higher price you had lots of traffic but no offers. Traffic without offers does not mean anything. If you were not getting second looks and offers, even low offers, you were priced too high. Now that you are getting offers, that means you are priced to be in the game. You do not have to accept this offer if you don't want to. Until there is a fully-executed contract there is no actual deal. So yes, in answer to "if I happen to get an offer, can I negotiate up using the comp?" - yes, but I'd put it another way. If you really believe your unit is worth more, you can change your asking price to something higher.
The confusion you are having and acting emotionally upon - lowering your price when a neighbor lowers theirs, hearing about a higher comp and now wanting to raise what you will accept - these are part of the difficulties of being a For Sale by Owner. Your are, understandably, emotionally involved. If you had a really good listing agent working for you, they would have a clear sense of the pricing. You would be off the emotional roller coaster, knowing a professional was handling this very important transaction for you. Also in terms of dealing with buyers, it would be an arm's length transaction which is very preferable to the other side as opposed to dealing directly with the owner. You are also asking questions about negotiating, and again, a good agent is a skilled and experienced negotiator. I would urge you to consider handing the reins over to someone qualified to get you the most money in the least amount of time with the least stress to you.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268
1 vote
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue Feb 9, 2010
It certainly is not recomended but you can do anything you like if you are selling it your self. You may make alot of buyers mad if you counter at a higher price, you should also note if someone comes in with an offer at your price and no contingincies, and you counter, they may sue for specific performance based on teh fact they are paying your full asking price with no contingincies so be careful.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Feb 9, 2010
Hi Rx
If you are listing for at a price you consider low, in order to get a higher number, be aware of certain things.

In order to "negotiate up", you would really need multiple offers to accomplish that.

It would, in my opinion, be unfair to have a buyer offer you full asking price.....and then have you give them a counter offer at a HIGHER number...with no one else in the picture.

Obvsiouly, you also have to take the terms of the contract into account.

Multiple offers can wind up giving the seller a higher than asking price final result.....that can happen, but not always.........but, in the absense of other offers, I think you'd annoy a buyer (not to mention their agent!) if you asked them to come back with more than the asking price.

In my opinion, it's not a good strategy...................you might very well be at a list price that is right for today's market.

Also.............you say you just found out your neighbor sold for a lot more........you didn't say when that occurred.......or whether you have seen the interior of your neighbor's place............upgrades or even beautiful decorating can affect the final number.

You said you lowered your price already................so...................how has that affected the traffic you are seeing? Has anyone jumped in and made an offer? If not, then you just might be priced where you should be.........regardless of what your neighbor got.

The test of the market, IS being on the market......and you are.

Good luck...
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
1 vote
Brian McMurr…, Agent, Tawas City, MI
Tue Feb 9, 2010
It's interesting that this buyer purchased next door for significantly more. In any event a list price is just a spot to start the negotiations. It's unusual to negotiate up but it does happen occassionally. I haven't seen this recently given the general Market Conditions. This situation used to occur move is a Sellers Market with multiple buyers trying to make a deal on the same property. Talk to your realtor to see if you can get any insight on was this buyer purchased the other unit. Also - further discuss you pricing strategy related to your overall motivation level to sell.
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Feb 9, 2010
Work with your listing agent, it would be misleading bring buyers in belief purchase your home for $xxx,xxx then find out bait and switch.

If you want a higher price then cancel listing then repost amount you want.

It could offend many potential buyers, however if you have seasoned agents will see you had lowered price then went up, more than likely could receive offers at the lowered amount.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Feb 10, 2010
Well, if you're selling FSBO, you can do whatever you darned well please. You're not subject to any code of ethics, what's the problem? (Jersey folk, do not hesitate to correct me!)

But. Nobody in their right mind will meet your price and then agree to your raising the price. "Whoa! I'm giving you what you asked for, and now you're RAISING the price?"

I'm not even going to ask how we go from "No units had sold in over a year" to "my next door neighbor sold."
0 votes
Marla McWill…, Agent, Coeur d Alene, ID
Wed Feb 10, 2010
Talk to your agent. You are the person that sets the price of your unit. Your agent represents you and facilitates the sale.

If you were to get multiple offers, you certainly could negotiate up, but with only one offer, you're likely to scare away the buyer if you go over your asking price.....if you feel your price should be higher, raise it before any offers come in....

But, be weary, the nation still seems to be in a "buyer's market".....although I'm certainly not familiar with your exact location! Good Luck to you!
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Wed Feb 10, 2010
Hi there - glad that the responses were helpful to you. By all means, incorporate what you have learned about the sale of your neighbor's condo in your pricing discussion. Remember this. generally speaking buyers who pursue FSBO's are looking for under market deals so do your best to gather data. This is one area where an agent can help greatly - but you can do some research on your own to gather market and comparable data. Having info on your side is always helpful, heaven knows that is true in negotiating the sale of a home.

The best way to gauge pricing is by its success in drawing activity and ultimately an offer that sticks. If activity is lacking, price must be addressed. If there are no offers, pricing must be reviewed and likely adjusted. So you did the right thing to adjust your price. Take a step back and also reflect on the presentation of your home - perhaps there is room for improvement there as well.

Get yourself a good real estate attorney to help you move from agreement to close.

Good luck,
Jeanne Feenick
Consistently delivering results for NJ Buyers & Sellers
Search the MLS at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
, ,
Tue Feb 9, 2010
From you reply below, it seems that this is a short sale, although you must have assets that you will have to use to pay off your loan, rather than a true short sale where the bank takes less money. If that is the case, the bank will not let the house go for less than the appraised value, so they may counter offer anyway based on what you said.
0 votes
Sofia Ginzbu…, Agent, Fair Lawn, NJ
Tue Feb 9, 2010
So many good answers! I wont repeat them, just want to clarify term 'arm's length transaction' that Jenet Levy used. Here is the definition:
an agreement made by two parties freely and independently of each other, and without some special relationship, such as being a relative, having another deal on the side or one party having complete control of the other.
As you can see there no need for the third party (Realtor) to be involved in order to have arm's length transaction.
Best regards to VIP writers!
0 votes
Rxdiana, Home Seller, Palisades Park, NJ
Tue Feb 9, 2010
Thanks for the quick responses! Just a couple of points. I am selling this property FSBO. Also, I only found out our neighbors sold a few days ago and that was only because I approached my new neighbor and he was kind enough to tell me what he paid for the unit. I'm just trying to figure out what my next move is if I receive an offer at the current listing price. I have someone who may be interested but because this information came to me just a few days ago I can't just switch the price on MLS. My potential buyer and her agent will probably not like that too much. Do you think if I offer to pay part of the closing costs they would be willing to come up on the price? I should probably mention I am selling the unit for less than what I owe on the mortgage so every penny more I can get, the less I have to pay the bank back. My other option is to rent it out but I really don't want to do this, I would prefer to sell it and eat the loss.
0 votes
Andrea Gizzo, , Tenafly, NJ
Tue Feb 9, 2010

Yes you can negotiate up however it is very difficult to do. Normally if a buyer gives you what you are asking they do not want to pay more. You can't be priced too low, multiple offers will come in if you are below market value. If your neighbor sold for more and you are both at the same asking price, it is likely that more than one buyer was interested in the unit and the highest offer won. You now know that your unit is priced right and it will sell quite quickly, if it's identical to your neighbor's. Good luck

Andrea Gizzo
Broker Associate
Prominent Properties Sothebys
201 359 4560
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Feb 9, 2010

Our recommendation is to meet with your real estate professional again to introduce this new comparison property. This new information may be enough to support a price adjustment. But don't be suprised to find that your agent may have additional relative information.

Good luck
0 votes
Dianne Hicks, Agent, Rancho Bernardo, CA
Tue Feb 9, 2010
You can, you do not have to accept an offer than comes in. How does this home that recently sold compate to yours? What price difference are we talking about?
0 votes
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