General Question

andrew's avatar

What do you figure the chances are of a seller accepting an offer that his agent considers "very fair"?

Asked by andrew (16258points) April 19th, 2008

Yes, I realize there’s no possible way for anyone to answer this definitively, but, hey, that’s what the internet is about, right?

If his agent (not just mine) is trying to convince him to take the offer, what would you put the chances at?

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20 Answers

wildflower's avatar

Chances should be reasonably good. He’s hired this agent to be his expert, so you’d assume he will take his recommendation very seriously.
...Unless he fancies himself an expert and he’s just retained the agent as a formality.

Fallstand's avatar

I’m a real estate agent, and a lot of the time the seller obviously wants to list their home for what they think it’s worth regardless what I or any other agent says. But I’ve gone through the process of trying to tell my seller that the offer is at a fair price, but almost all of the time they will simply counter offer.

gailcalled's avatar

Have you done your homework and found “comp. values” in neighborhood?course. My (Ben’s other aunt) was in the biz. for several years and says that everyone around here is cutthroat.

How long has the house been on the market? Has owner had to drop price? Fallstand knows much better than I-listen to him.

Buying your first house is really exciting. Good luck. Can you keep your impatience in check?

andrew's avatar

@gailcalled: Impatience? Ha! Not really.

We’re actually offering a little above the comps (but still 5% below the list), since the seller has been very, almost bullyishly stubborn. That said, we’re very happy about the price right now. Truth be told, we’ll find out tomorrow, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

gailcalled's avatar

edit: my sister…

Of course not. It is almost as fun as your first baby.

And I know the feeling of wanting that house, no matter what or whom I have to sell.

Fallstand's avatar

Ultimately sellers today just have to realize that it isn’t 3 years ago anymore and they aren’t going to get the price they want. Hammering that in their head is hard because no one wants to hear that the good ol’ days are gone. Just hope they’re informed and logical sellers who know this already. =)

andrew's avatar

Edit: This is also the second counter-offer.

sndfreQ's avatar

Sometimes you have to force the hand…in the immortal words of my favorite country singing barbecue chicken wings-and-casino impresario: (sings) “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run…”

It is a big game and sellers have no allegiance to anything/one but their bottom line. It’s a difficult call but unless you and your SO are emotionally attached to this property, and/or a bidding war is imminent, it’s likely that the seller will walk. But the others have made some strong arguments, and your agent should have comps in hand for you.

It’s a strange time for RE, esp. in L.A. My wife and I are researching a move, but may actually wait until the end of the calendar year as the declining economy, election, holiday sales slumps that typically drive the market to drop around that time may present some opportunities. IMO right now the ‘hold outs’ are still tryingvto eek out that last bit of value…now if you own already, that may change the deal slightly, as your equity may also decrease if you wait.

I’d suggest to keep looking and try and keep an ‘open’ perspective as deals are popping up more and more every day. It may also be just enough ‘artillery’ for you if you find something equally attractive that’s a closely matched comparable.

Playing devil’s advocate, have you calculated the difference in mortgage payment that purchasing at his price would cause?

How good are you at poker?...haha

Good luck my friend ;)

srmorgan's avatar

A lot depends on the outlook of the seller and how his agent is helping him assess the market. If he is going to hold out for a price and will not negotiate down from asking price, then his stubbornness may result in him owning the house longer than he planned.

I don’t know how the market works in LA. I purchased two different properties in Westchester County NY and the listing price bore absolutely no relationship to the prices we actually paid: the listing prices were close to 20% higher than what we paid when all was said and done. In North Carolina, the agent was horrified when we came in with an initial bid more than 3% below asking price and couldn’t believe that we intended to haggle over the last $5,000. Maybe its my ethnicity but I was born to haggle.

Look, if you are close, tell your agent to speak to the seller’s agent and make some magic to get the deal closed. The agents work for the seller, ostensibly, but if you can’t make a deal and you end up walking away from the the deal, they make nothing and in fact are out the time spent on the deal and any advertising costs they might have expended so far. If you and the seller are $2k or $3k apart then maybe the agent might “want to participate” in pushing the deal along.

Good luck in the negotiations. Remember the story about the Blonde in the bar, which I will send you in a private comment.

SRM

gailcalled's avatar

@steve; Inquiring minds want to know about the blonde.

@Andrew; sometimes there is “wiggle-room” in the commissions. A % point here, a% point there, maybe?

ironhiway's avatar

It’s possible though as many have said, the Seller is the key to the response. No requirement for them to be realistic or fair.

Being that it’s a buyer’s market 5% below asking seems more than fair. His response will be based on percieved needs and interest in the property. If the place was on the market awhile it is more likely he’ll acept. If he thinks you’ve fallen in love with the place he may think he’s in the drivers seat and hold out.

Sugestion: Before offering another counter, if they don’t accept, go look at some more places to make sure you’re either stuck on that property or can move on and maybe find something better at a better price.

If your stuck on the property, when you do have an offer accepted, be very thorough on the inspection and ask for them to fix or compensate for all discrepancies.

When I sold a place in 2005 the appraisal came in below the agreed upon price. The buyers asked for a reduction. I accepted, though I was surprised they only asked to split the difference. This was at the end of the sellers market though.

We’re all eager to hear how it goes.

srmorgan's avatar

@ironhiway..

Good point about looking elsewhere.
Say the seller does not counter, it is good strategy not to immediately increase your offer.
Let him stew a bit in his own juices, a delay of a day or two won’t hurt, Unless there is something truly unique about the property, he is probably not being deluged with offers.
Or if you feel you must do something, come up $250 or so, just to see what happens.

Keep us posted.
SRM

andrew's avatar

@srmorgan: Our respective agents have been in contact, that’s how I know that his agent thinks it’s “very fair”. Really, what it comes down to is how precious the seller is. It’s a great place, but (as is by magic!) I just became aware of another really great place that my friend is selling (no commission, anyone?).

I’m optimistic about the outcome of this place. Seller already has an offer out on another house. We’ll see.

srmorgan's avatar

@andrew—
Throw something else at him.
Are you paying all cash? (HAH)
Can you close in less than 14 days? 30 days?
Is your financing in place, lenders are getting awfully funky these days?
You have nothing to sell you can close without impediment!

When we bought our second home in NY, we had signed the contract and the seller was holding it, waiting on another higher offer. What sealed the deal for us was a reminder to the seller’s attorney that our place was under contract, with financing in place, and would close in just over 30 days. So our offer was better than the higher one, because we had no contingencies and could demonstrate that we would close as promised. The other bidder had not gotten a contract on his apartment so we were the better offer.

SRM

peggylou's avatar

So many good ideas! And ah, the stress goes on!

breedmitch's avatar

I agree that all these are good advice. Just want to add: Stand firm Andrew! It’s a buyers market right now. You’ll always feel better about a home if you got the deal you wanted as opposed to feeling taken if you give in too much.
Keep us posted and good luck!

gooch's avatar

If they want to sell it and they hired an agent then I would think they would take his advice and accept the offer.

andrew's avatar

Well, he ended up countering, and I paid the absolute highest I would have paid for it. So it all worked out. I overpaid maybe by 1%, but the place is perfect for us.

wildflower's avatar

Congrats on the house and best of luck with making it a home :)

gailcalled's avatar

Wonderful news. You can save the 1% by not using dryer. And remember, once you put something in a drawer or cupboard (corkscrew or favorite stock pot) it usually stays there forever. And get rid of anything from your apt. that you hate. Now is the time to unload and slowly buy or steal or barter for things you love and cherish.

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