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What should we offer?

My realtor gave me a horrified look when I suggested what I would like to offer on a house.

The house is in a good neighborhood and is in good condition. However, the house has been on the market for 415 days. There are reasons for that but again, it has been on the market for over a year. The house is also small, and bigger houses in the neighborhood have been selling for 189k.

The house is listed at 184k and I would like to start with an offer on 160k. I realize that is low, but I also don't want to over pay when I have no contingencies and the house has been on the market for so long.

Am I wrong to start that low?
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August 17 2013 - US
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Answers (7)

You don't know what the property is really worth though, do you? Is it worth $160K? Is there a better house for you that you can buy for $160K?
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August 18 2013
As the other agents have said, the first thing to do is pull comps for the area of similar houses that have recently sold and if you want the house make a reasonable offer.  If you present an offer that is too low, the sellers may be offended and you may not even get the chance to negotiate.  I guess the question is not how long has the house been on the market, but how much $ do you want the house.  What is the $ dollar amount you are willing to pay and what is the $ amount that will make you walk away.  Come up with these figures and look at the comps and then make a decision.  Remember there is a reason that the house has been on the market for this long.  They did have a seller.
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August 18 2013
You can offer what ever you want and the realtor has to present any and all offers to the seller.  The seller may choose to accept the offer, counter back or simply not accept the offer.  If the house has a mortgage on it; then it is costing the sellers money every month to keep it.  They may be getting tired of the "carrying costs"  to own it.  They may also be weary from their last experience and be eager to sell it.  The comps from your realtor will give you a suggestion as to what is fair to offer and likely to be accepted.  Best of luck!
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August 18 2013
You would definitely want to offer what is fair for the house. It sounds like they were pretty patient with the last buyers, and were willing to wait for them to sell. I typically tell my clients not to offer less than 95% of list price unless there is something drastically wrong with the house. If the length of time the home was on the market is due to their patience with the last buyer, that won't lessen the value of the home itself. I hate to beat a dead horse, but the other agents are right. You should have a Realtor run a search for comparable homes sold within a half mile radius of this home for the last 90 days and judge the price to offer from there.
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August 17 2013
Run the comps in the area for homes sold in the last 3 months.  Take the avg $/sqft for those homes and apply to the sqft of the home that you are interested in buying to get a basic value for the home.  You are not wrong for wanting to offer less.  The seller could counter.
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August 17 2013
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Well we do know that part of the reason the house has been on the market so long is because another offer, with the contingency for the buyer to sell their own home, fell through. They waited out that process and I am not sure that at this point they just don't want out.

Who knows what they are thinking... again, I don't want to be rude, but I also don't want to pay asking price for a house on the market that long.

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August 17 2013
You can always ask your Realtor to pull up comps for that area, including the price per sq. ft. to determine if your offer is "reasonable" or not.  Being on the market for over a year, there may be issues with the house, or just that offers were not accepted by the seller.  One thing is for sure, the seller is not desperate to sell.
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August 17 2013
 
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