If you’re thinking about buying a house – I mean seriously thinking about it, to the point where you’re pre-approved and you’re out there looking at homes for sale – you will undoubtedly ask yourself “How much should I offer for that home?” The answer there begins with knowing what’s going on in your market. Specifically, you should look at the sales-to-list-price ratio. In my market, the ratio generally hovers between 98% and 102% of asking price, on average. For the most part, sellers receive very close to full asking price for their homes – and depending on how hot the market it, sellers will receive MORE than asking price, on average. When it comes time for you to make an offer, it’s important that you understand where the market is at. Few sellers in my market will ever accept an offer that is much less than full asking price – a bit less, yes, but a lot less? It hardly ever happens. And there’s a lesson there for sellers, too – buyers know that sellers in my market don’t’ usually accept much less than full asking price. That means that if there’s a property they feel is more than a few percentage points overpriced, they’re simply not going to make an offer. The lesson for sellers, then, is that if you want to get your home sold, price it very close to where you expect it to sell for. After all, the listing price you set is really your first point in negotiation, before your buyer ever shows up.
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