How much to offer home seller

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All things being equal, how much should a prospective home buyer offer to a home seller. If I go too far below the asking price, I could insult the seller and he won't want to deal with me again. If I go too near the seller's asking price, I stant to lose a lot of money. Any general rule of thumb?
1% less, 5% 10% ?????
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It all depneds on how long the house has been on the market. I had one on the market for a long time and it was listed over the tax value. I took about 10 % less than the asking price but it was about the tax value . I also bought a house that had been on the market for about a year. I offered 10 % less than the asking price. It was already listed just under the tax value. They did not take it. About 2 months later I offered about 5 % less and they took it. If the housing market if really selling the house may not stay on the market a month. Then you might as well offer 5 % less and be ready to go the full ammount if that is not accepted.
If you don't know it, the tax value is public record and you should be able to get it.
Is this a privite sell or through an agent ? If through an agent then you don't have to worry about insulting the seller.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

In most places the assessed value ("tax value") has no relationship to market value.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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dadiOH wrote:

That's not totally true. In some cases the assessor is far behind (like 5 years). OTOH, some are fairly up to date, but all assessors offices record the sales prices of homes, so you can check recent sale prices of similar homes.
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On 12/31/2005 6:23 PM or thereabouts, George E. Cawthon appears, somewhat unbelievably, to have opined:

This is not true in every state. Texas, for example, will not provide this information to the public, considering it to be a matter of privacy.
--
As a child, my parents thought I was an idiot-savant.
Now, however, it is rather clear that I\'m simply an idiot.
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says...

Bexar County is in Texas. Have a look at http://www.countyclerk.bexar.landata.com/default.asp ?
photo copies of deeds and a lot more.
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There are no more rules of thumb. People are often offering MORE than asking price if they really want a house in a hot market. Offer what you think is fair. Do some research in the area and give it a fair shot up front. Markets do change and a year ago, potential buyer were bidding against each other beyond asking price.
If you offer more, you are not losing money, but if you offer too little, you can lose the house. .
One possible scenario Asking price is $200,000, it is the house of your dreams so you offer 190k Offer is pondered, but another buyer offers 195k. He get house, you get to look for another. You never find the house of your dreams. What is $5000 over the next 30 years? About $14 a month plus interest. Not much in an appreciating market. So you move on, find a house at the price you want to pay, but over then next few years you invest $10k in repairs. Now you lost money by comparison.
Sometimes the asking price is ridiculously high. If you have a feel for the market, you don't even make an offer, but just move on. Maybe in six months you will find the price to be back in line and ca grab it.
Another scenario from the sellers POV. This was real and happened to a co-worker last May. Realtor advised listing his house for $370. He said he "needed" to get $395. Had one offer of $380, but he refused it as he "needed" his figure to make it work moving to new house. Four months later, he dropped price, got and accepted an offer for $370. Being a bit greedy, he really did lose 10k by pricing too high.
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"Insulting" the seller is hogwash the realtor tells you. Try to assess the value by looking at similar homes sales in the area, which your agent should provide to you if she wants to earn her part of the commission. Then take into account repairs/updates that need to be done.
Mike
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Couldn't agree more. Offer what you think the house is worth, regardless of asking price. If the realtor gives you a hard time deal with someone more cooperative.
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I would have thought that until I put my condo on the market. I was sking $180k and eventually settled for $160k. Along the way, one couple checked the place out, went away and called the realtor later... I don't remember the exact numbers, but they offered something like $45k and claimed the place needed $80k in repairs! WTF? You could have blown the whole apartment out the side of the building with a bomb and it wouldn't have cost $80k to fix... I still have no clue what they were up to.
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Some buyers are weird and some realtors are a bit unscrupulous. Sounds like this one was a combination of both.
When I sold my last house, the first buyer I encountered underbid my house and passed along a letter of credit that was only $500 over what they bid (making it look as though they couldn't go higher). I got another bid the next day for $250 under my asking price and took it. The first bidder called me up and told me he actually was able to qualify for a much bigger loan. It seems his realtor instructed him to get multiple letters of credit from his mortgage broker so they could support whatever bid they put in, but it would make it look like they had little to no wiggle room in the bid. That's the way I took it, and I told him he should consider getting another realtor before he continued his home search.
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My experience with realtors is that they will try to get a contract with the seller by painting a rosy picture with a high value. Then they tell the buyer to bid high because they work on commission. Remember, unless the realtor is a buyer's agent, the realtor is supposed to represent the seller, not the buyer. Even then, from my experience, realtors represent themselves ahead of anyone else.
Bob
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46erjoe wrote:

My experience buying this time of year was that it tends to be a buyers market, especially if you're buying where it's cold. You may be able to go pretty low if there's not much interest in the house. See if you can figure out if other people are interested. Don't trust your agent on this point. They want the sale and will try to stampede you into bidding high. Try calling the selling agent's office and chatting up the agent's secretary, without revealing who you are. We offered about 5% less than the asking price, and ended up splitting the difference, in a market (DC) where coming in low is very unusual. (It was at the time anyway.) My sense of it is they priced the house as if it wasn't a dead time of year and hoped for the best, but it didn't work for them.
Good luck.
ccs> ikyr
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wrote:

Don't worry about insulting anyone. If he doesn't want to deal with you again, it's only because he thinks you'll never reach the price he's wlling to sell at.
But to begin with, how much dealing with are we talking about. Only offering a higher price. That takes about one minute.
My friend just bought a house for 100,000 dollars less than the asking price. It has a small barn and a hen house and some building without walls, I don't know what it was built for, and 4 bedrooms, and central AC, and a remodelled kitchen, and 3 acres, and is still pretty close to town. He hasn't volunteered what the asking price was, but I'm thinking 350 or 400. But he got it for 100G less.
(BTW, in Baltimore County at least, there is a webpage with actual prices at closing, I'm told. I'm not going to spy on my friend, but if there is one where you live, you can find out what similar houses have sold for. I was told in law school that in many jurisdictions, what gets recorded will say 1 dollar and other valuable consideration, so that people won't know the price. Maybe that's not true here, or maybe they take the price of the stamps, the real estate transfer tax, and work back to compute the sales price.)
I presume he wasn't told this until after the closing, or at least after the contract, but the man hadn't gotten a single offer on the house, and he wants to move. It's not the modern style that most people want. I think iirc it was built in 1918.,
Now, if the guy asks 200 but would settle for 160 and you offer 100, and a day after it is turned down you offer 101, and 2 days later 102, they're going to think you will never get high enough, and the realtor might not even call you back, perhaps. But that's not because they're insulted. It's because they have other things to do.

Believe you me, my friend didn't pay 900G for a 1 million dollar house. The house isn't worth that and he doesn't have the money. He paid something like 33 or 25 percent less than the asking price, and that was his final bid. First bid if different was less. OTOH, he and his wife had a place to live and they could afford to pass on this if he didn't get it.
Don't forget that the bubble is about to burst. Sales were down 1.9% this week, the first time they've gone down in a year or two. I hope my friend allowed for this, but I'm sure he did.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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46erjoe wrote:

No one will be 'insulted" by a low bid. They might refuse it, but it will not prevent them from accepting your next bid.
Your real problem here is that you don't seem to have any idea what the property is really worth. I suggest you need to get a professional appraisal of the property. It will be worth the cost. If it is a development with a lot of like homes, you can do a little research yourself and get a good idea. Same type home in the same development sold recently is what you want. Most local taxing authorities now have recent sales histories for homes on line. Be sure to get several examples. You can even use that in bargaining.
You may want to get a professional to represent you in this deal.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote: ..

I need to add to that statement that you do not want someone who is paid on commission to represent you. If on commission they get more the more you pay. They will not be interested in saving you money. They will want you to spend as much as possible as quickly as possible. A fixed fee professional is on your side. You may find an attorney who will do this part of the job for you and will also check over the legal parts of the transactions to avoid problems with that.
--
Joseph Meehan

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You don't want to use the bank's appraiser to get an accurate value. Somehow their value always equals just enough to make the mortgage work. Also, beware an appraiser who asks you what you think the place is worth. Some appraisers think they are doing you a favor by pricing something where you want it. You'll want an honest, knowledgeable, licensed appraiser who can give you a fair price between a willing seller and willing buyer.
Bob
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Very interesting experiences. Thanks for sharing your stories. Per

the
yourself
even
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don't you want to meet your new neighbors for the inside information before you move in anyway?
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This is something nearly everyone overlooks. Try visting the neighborhood during non-sales hours. Like the morning commute or a Saturday afternoon. Or if it's next to a school during start/ending times for classes. You want to get a good picture of what it'll be like to actually LIVE there during times that might be stress-inducing.
We passed up on a place because the next door neighbor's yard had a huge dog and nearly no grass. A sure sign the damned thing was out there 24x7 and undoubtedly barking all the damned time. Sure enough, when biking through that neighborhood the next spring the damned dog was out there in a barking frenzy. No thanks. And don't get me started on the people that move out to the countryside and then bitch about the smell of manure used for farming...
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