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Still Negotiating Or Are You Buying a New House?

“I Want a Real Estate Deal!”

“Let’s write offers until someone accepts one.” I actually had a buyer tell me that once, I can’t make this stuff up! He actually wanted me to write six offers in one day. I ended that day by asking him to pick his top two and tell me why we would bother to look at the other four. Wasting energy and concentration on the financial consideration of putting together more than two deals is exhausting and mistakes are sure to be made. Not to mention, he didn’t even like the other four when it came right down to it! Don’t burn yourself out when you are buying a home, it can happen!

Buyer’s today are more confused than ever before, and there are days when it feels like the Wild, Wild, West. Realtors study market conditions. Lately, that alone is a full time job as home values rise and fall like the summer tides.

Thanks to the media, “the best deal” message being relayed to home-buyers seems to mean that every home being sold is a foreclosure. In Tallahassee, Florida less than 17% of single family residential sales were Foreclosures and Bank Owned Properties. Less than 13% were short sales. While these properties may have been distress sales, they comprise 30% of the sales in Tallahassee. (Stats from the Multiple Listing Service, Tallahassee Board of Realtors)

What people really mean when they say they want to “Negotiate”

  • “I will wait for the best deal.”  Me: I want to help you purchase a home at a value in today’s market. Do you have a price range or a monthly payment in mind? Would you feel like you got a deal if we found a good fit for your family in that price range?
  • “I have a price range in mind, but I’m not seeing anything I like in that range. Can we go higher?”  Me: We have researched properties in the MLS before they are listed. In our market, most of our sales occur within 3 – 6% of asking price. Most Realtors today are prepared when listing properties, so if you want to go higher, you must be prepared for a higher payment.
  • “Yes, but I heard on the news that you are never supposed to offer full price and that sellers will always take less. My friend in South Florida bought a home for  $50,00 less.”  Me: The National News is not a reliable source of local real estate news. Unfortunately, what happens in South Florida, is not comparable to our area.  Each region, city, county, and even each neighborhood is it’s own market. We will study values and that is what your offer should be based on, that and again, your  desired mortgage and payment.
  • “Well, if they don’t take my offer we will just keep going until we find a deal.” Me: What do you define as “a deal? What again is your goal of buying a home? Are you prepared to pass up the home that fits your needs and is within your price range because you think it is not worth the advertised price? Why don’t we look at that home and examine the price in detail. Then you can make a decision on whether you can live with a home or market value price.
  • “My goal is to get my family in a home – we only have 4 months to do it.”  Me: Let me suggest this; focus on the needs of your family. Finding a home is not always about negotiating, it’s about educated financial decisions and what works with your life. When you identify a property as a home, not a deal, you will find that your focus changes, and we can find it faster. Writing offers just to “get a deal” may very well tie you up in fruitless paperwork while you miss the one that really fits your family and that you can afford.
  • “We know this house has been on the market a long time, the sellers have to be getting desperate.” Me: Not every seller wants to sell – although they have their home listed. We will find out if they have received other offer before we write another. Most sellers will work with reasonable offers, but if you insult them, we loose credibility as educated buyers and you have compromised your negotiations.

Who wins in the real estate negotiations?

The real “win” comes when you find something you can afford, and what makes your family happy and when it fits your needs and when you find that you can indeed afford to own it rather than the risk of losing that home after long, drawn out, below market value negotiations. We may not find a perfect house, most are not, but what most home-buys realize is that every house can become the home for their family as you see the vision and have the desire to invest in it with time, and money.  When considering an offering of price, buyer’s should rely on market sales values, market pricing, analysis and comparison of homes in the area not just in price, but condition, then make an educated offer.

If buyers can not afford a market value home in a particular neighborhood, perhaps they should look to broaden their search criteria. The same price, but a widening focus may open one to more homes. There are compromises that every buyer makes before beginning a home search. Finding a “home” rather than a “deal” has value. If you’d like professional advice in your home search as well as a competent team to help coordinate your real estate transaction from negotiation to closing and beyond, let our team take care of you. Contact us for a FREE home-buyer consultation.



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