How Much Should I Offer To Purchase This House…And When?
I am asked this question frequently, whether buyers are looking in The Hideout, or Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, or Masthope….whether it’s a lakefront log home or a hunting cabin in Pike County. “What should I offer? What is a fair / reasonable / good offer to make?”
Another common question is “When is a good time to offer?” Or “Is it better in the off season?” Or “Are prices higher in the summer?” This will be answered in a future post.
Making A Reasonable Offer On A Home in Pike or Wayne County
Sadly, predicting what a seller will accept is not an exact science and is a lot like predicting the weather! Instead of being tossed about by sudden changes in the gulf stream, we have to contend with human emotion. What is “reasonable” to one is not necessarily “reasonable” to another! There is no “uniform price” sellers adhere to, like Walmart or Best Buy (“Bring us a lower price and we’ll match it!” does not exist for most resale homes.) Unlike the retail world with corporately controlled prices & predictably scheduled
sales, in real estate we deal with human beings and their individual emotions, goals, and needs.
If my company represents the seller and I happen know the “bottom line,” I am bound by ethics not to reveal that to potential buyers (just as I am equally bound not to reveal to sellers what buyers are ultimately willing to pay). Even if the seller has explicitly told me “$XXX,000 and not a penny less,” that doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind and actually accept less!
Not all sellers in the Pike and Wayne County PA real estate market are desperate, and many are not willing to accept huge discounts below the listing price on their property. Some are willing and able to wait for an offer they will accept.
Others are anxious to “get the monkey off their back” so they can move on – but are they willing to take 40 or 50% off the list price to do it? The ones truly anxious to sell have already priced their home aggressively based on current market conditions. It’s impossible say how much lower they’ll go.
What is a reasonable offer? Simple: one the seller will either accept or at least negotiate from. I do present every offer to my sellers or to the listing agent. Good agents encourage dialogue between their clients, but sometimes a seller is so offended by a low offer that they won’t even respond and try to shoot the messenger!
It is understandable that buyers want a “deal” and many fear the market will tank even further. In response to that fear, some make really LOW offers.
In reality, we do not have a future-predicting crystal ball. We can’t tell sellers “Hey, dude, your home isn’t gonna be worth squat in two years, so give this guy your house.” Well, we can, but it certainly isn’t going to go over very well! We can’t expect sellers to accept an offer based on what the home MAY be worth 2 years from now. We only have the “now” to guage fair market value.
I can and do provide statistics and comparable sold homes showing how most homes sell for x% of list price, but that doesn’t guarantee acceptance. Sellers are funny creatures; they do what they want – they are human! We don’t know what they’ll accept till we ask! Statistics are a helpful tool, but ultimately, they are only a guideline showing AVERAGE trends.
Interested in keeping track of the Lake Wallenpaupack / Northeast PA real estate market?
Contact me & tell me what areas your interested in!
Stay tuned for Part 2 – When Should I Make An Offer?