How to make an offer ....

I haven't bought in a long time.  Used to be it offended somebody if you offered much than a thousand or two less than the asking price.  Still so?  (Suppose I see a house listed for 50K.  Is it bad manners to offer 40?  It isn't a foreclosure.)
  • December 15 2011 - US
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (9)

Profile picture for Bert Pope
Just be polite, dont be arrogant about it.(that would be bad manners)
Apologize up front and say" If you dont want me to make the offer I wont, but this is what the home is worth to "me" today, maybe you might find someone that will pay more, but this is all I can do today".
I'm sorry I cant do more.
  • December 16 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Have your agent check market value in the area you are looking. Ultimately the sellers motivation will determine the sale price. Having your agent  speak with the listing agent will usually give you an idea of the sellers motivation. 
  • December 16 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Seth: The more I read your comments, the more I become your fan. From what I have read so far, you never spout NAR rhetoric, just explain things honestly and openly, sometimes with great humor.

Also, working and living in Chicago, your love for the city, and its remarkable older homes, not to mention your casual appearance, must be a blessing for every buyer that has had, or will have, the pleasure of your advice and service. Best wishes.

Happy Holidays, Rudi
  • December 15 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

This idea of manners is very intriguing, and a common thought amongst people not involved in real estate.

I think it says a lot (in a good way) about the general public that they are worried about offending somebody.

But unfortunately, and this is hard news for many people to swallow, homes, all of them, every single one, are a business. It hurts me to say that because I know how cold that is, to think that the home you love so much that you may even wish to die in, is just a commodity that any given number of people would happily purchase if given the opportunity and conditions.

It's imperative to be ethical, which is to say, not dupe somebody into selling their home, or fabricating situations so that somebody is tricked into doing something they wouldn't have normally done.

However, if a person is actively selling their house, you have every right, frankly, an obligation, to become part of the market. This concept of fixed prices (for any good) is relatively new, and still not adhered to in many parts of the world. A home is worth whatever the buyer and seller, TOGETHER, determine it's worth.

Many sellers list a home for more than it's worth. Sometimes much more. And many buyers want that home cheaper. Much cheaper. It's up to both of you to find a mutually agreeable middle, sometimes leaning a bit more in your favor, and other times tilted the other way.

And yes, sellers get offended. And if agents didn't exist, and I say this despite all the awful, and many times true stereotypes, fewer deals would get done because the average buyer and seller are way too emotional to handle the business reality of a piece of real estate.

What the heck does this post mean:

You seem too worried about manners. Find an agent you trust, and start the bidding process. Do you feel bad when you offer somebody on EBAY a bid of $2 for a $150 product.

In the end, the market will determine a relatively fair price for that moment in time. It's been happening for thousands of years. And not about to stop now.
  • December 15 2011
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

There are many factors that are considered in making offers, including the local market, motivation (buyer and sellers), inventory, finanancing, condition of property etc, but I feel it comes down to what price a buyer is most comfortable. Good Luck. 
  • December 15 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Peter Jordan
In the current, local market, generally offering 5% less than the asking price won't offend anyone. Take 15% or 20% off, though, and you could easily be accused of having "bad manners". The real answer is every market,
every home, and every seller is different (e.g motivated vs unmotivated) and so generalities as to what is an "acceptable" offer simply won't work. An analysis of recent comparable sales and days-on-market will provide you with a better idea of what kind of initial offer would be considered reasonable and which might get you branded as a "low-baller".    
  • December 15 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Matt Hiatt
Get an agent that knows the market. I have seen people lose their dream home because they tried to low ball. Here in Phoenix, we are low on inventory, so if a client tries to low ball on a decent home, they are not going to get it because there are usually multiple offers. I do not want my clients over paying for a home and want them to get the best price for them, but if they love a home, I also don't want them to lose it. Take into factor who owns the home and how many days it has been on the market.
  • December 15 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I agree with "Zilluminati" that you should offer what you are comfortable with, but keep in mind that a seller may have an emotional attachment to the home and therefore you will want to carefully present your offer in a manner that will hopefully appeal to the seller.  If you see that recent area sales are in line with the amount you want to offer, then you may want to provide this information to the Seller in support of your offer.  I've gone as far as providing a short note from a buyer describing what appealed to them about the property and how they visualized their family in the home.  This all depends on if you will have the luxury of making the offer directly to the Seller.   

I hope this helps and good luck! 
  • December 15 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

No. Offer what you are comfortable with. You may find a Seller who is able or motivated to accept an offer that is 20% below asking price, you may not. If the market is a decent one, your odds of buying low are decreased. If you are in a market saturated with listings your odds are better.

Where are you looking?
  • December 15 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.