Technically, there is no limit – but there is a line you don’t want to cross when writing up an offer on a home. The fine line lies between getting a good deal for your clients and not pissing the sellers off – after all, they’re selling the place they’ve called home for however long, you want to make sure your offer isn’t so offensive they don’t even bother working with you. This is where good Real Estate Agents come into play, they should help guide you to making the right offer and it’s up to you to take their advice or not.
This advice applies both when you’re buying and selling a home. I’m gonna break it down for you here.
BUYING: The best advice you can get on what to offer is from your Realtor. They’ve had experience with this before (obviously – it’s our job) and they know what they’re talking about. Of course, you need to do what makes you comfortable, financially, but be careful low-balling if the listings’ stats don’t match up. There are a MILLION different scenarios here – house has been on the market for 30+ days, it’s priced too high/low in your opinion, terrible paint colors or smells like mothballs – these aren’t necessarily reasons to automatically lower your offer, each situation is uniquely different. Take our advice into consideration when making your decision, and when it comes down to it – offer what you feel most comfortable with considering all factors. This also comes into play when you’re negotiating for the home inspection items – are you going to ask for everything but the kitchen sink? Maybe you should, maybe you shouldn’t – your Realtor will help you decide what’s best here.
SELLING: We all have it – that “but my house is better because ______” – it’s like a human instinct, we can’t help but think ours is better than theirs. This is SO hard to not do when you’re selling and trying to come up with the right list price. This is another crucial decision to make – that first week your house hits the market, it’s going to get the most web traffic it’ll ever get – even if you change or drop the price (for more info on this see my Myth Buster #2: “Price your home high“). You want that first impact to be a good one, so try to not be greedy and make sure you’re pricing it right (with the help of your Realtor). Don’t forget, Realtors will list it for what you want to list it for, but they will also recommend a price range that they believe is correct for the current market (based on a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA). Trust me, they’re trying to get you what your house is worth, quickly – don’t disregard their recommendations because “but my house is better than Carols”. Try your best to keep the emotion out of it – much easier said than done, but if you do, you’ll be in for a much less stressful ride.
Bottom line? Use a Realtor that you trust, take their advice into consideration, and do what makes you happy – also, Carol thinks her house is better than yours, we’re only human after all.