Lately I have become quite fascinated by the real estate articles I find in the paper and online. I can’t count how many articles I’ve read where people need to sell their homes but refuse to lower their asking price. I hear a lot of people talking about how high home prices used to be, just like I heard people saying how much Microsoft and Cisco stock used to be. It seems we live in the past just a little too long sometimes. It doesn’t matter what the housing market looked like yesterday if you’re unable to sell your home today.
In 2004, my husband and I offered 10% less than the asking price on a second home. The buyers told our real estate agent they were insulted and wouldn’t even consider the offer. My husband loved that home and at the time we had quite a few arguments as to whether or not we should purchase it. Honestly, paying the full price was simply too far out of our price range so we had no choice but to walk away.
One year later my husband and I offered 4% less than the asking price on a home that was in the same community as the home we’d bid on the year before. The sellers countered by offering a deduction equal to less than 1% of the price of the home. At the time I wanted to stick to my guns and refuse their offer even though I loved the home. I was ready to walk away from the deal when our real estate agent offered some keen advice. He said, think carefully before walking away from home you love because of a 3% difference in price. In our case, after working through some mortgage calculations, we determined that the difference in price amounted to just over $100 more a month. In the end we purchased the home for 99.2% of the price the sellers originally listed.
These days buyers are more in control of the housing market, but I still think sellers can offload their homes without feeling disappointed. When pricing your home realize that knocking a few thousand dollars off your asking price might get a few more people in the door. Some buyers have a set price in mind when they bid on a home and might not even consider a home outside of that range. A few thousand dollars might be the key to getting an offer.