Tuesday, March 04, 2008

First Time Buyers Beware: That Only Happens On Television

I've been showing a lot of first time buyers lately that have been watching a lot of television shows that show home remodeling, home decorating, and home buying.

Don't get me wrong, most of those shows are full of useful information, remodeling and decorating ideas and they can even give you tips on things to look for when shopping for a home that could be problematic... so they can be useful.

But please keep in mind that these are nationwide shows, some are even shot in Canada, and not everything they say apply to every area of the country.

Remodeling projects that they say can be completed in a weekend would be a tough job for seasoned hands, let along two women single handedly.

One show suggests that when you find a home you want to make an offer on "low-ball them." In other words, if they are asking 225,000.00 go in and offer them 25,000.00 less right off the bat.

I'm an advocate for negotiating a good deal, but my experience has been that this type of low-balling offends the sellers. I've even had a couple of sellers even refuse to make a counter offer because they were insulted.

Work with your REALTOR®. Ask them to show you comps in the neighborhood of homes that have sold as well as those for sale. Compare them to the home you want to make an offer on and proceed with a sensible offer.

I hear more and more REALTORS® working with sellers stressing the importance of pricing homes properly to sell in this market of over abundance.

Then there are those sellers who are having to bring money to the table to even sell their homes and have very little wiggle room.

I understand everyone wants a deal but just because the television shows are telling you to "low ball and ask for your closing costs to be paid," doesn't mean that it always happens or it's the rule of thumb to follow. In my opinion that only happens every-time on television.

I work with buyers and sellers so I see, feel and understand both sides.

As a buyer if you really want the home and give an outrageously low offer on a home that is priced correctly and the sellers get offended and refuse to counter - then you have lost out on a home that you really wanted and you are disappointed. That isn't a win/win for anyone.

Work with your REALTORS® and as buyers and sellers make mindful decisions.... and remember everything that is seen on television isn't always the case.


Anonymous said...

Words of wisdom from someone who makes their money based on the price of the house. Obviously the lower the price is, the less the realtor makes. Any homeowner looking to sell puts the price higher than they're willing to accept, knowing offers will come in for less. If that seller if "offended" its because they're not looking at this as a business transaction but instead taking it personally as an insult of their house. Low Ball away people. the worse that can happen is they say no. theres MANY more houses out there!

Fran White, Realtor said...

Thanks for your comment, I wish you would have left your name so I could address you properly.

Also please know that I had the option of not publishing your comment but I did, so now I'll be glad to respond.

Sounds like you do not like realtors, I'm really sorry.

My intent of writing the blog was not to "make more money" as you stated...and obviously I'll present any offer a buyer wants to make.

Yes, sellers take it personal, it's their home that they have lived in and taken care of. It's part of their life.

But then buyers take it personal when the sellers refuse to negotiate... so no one ends up happy.

Sorry if the post didn't set well with you.... and money isn't everything. :)

Brent said...

Hi Fran,
Great site! Regarding the "Words of wisdom" comment from Anonymous, I think what would have been more appropriate would be something like "Words of wisdom from someone who has a genuine interest in the well being of all parties involved and a fiduciary responsibility to represent the interests of her clients to the best of her ability".

Sometimes it can make sense to make a low ball offer. Like if the seller is highly motivated AND has a signicant amount of equity AND the buyer is not emotionally attached to the property. Unfortunately in todays market, the vast majority of sellers are somewhat to highly motivated but don't have a large equity position. The comment "Low ball away" just isn't practical across the board. The reality is sellers do take it personally and many are looking at it from a business perspective but also from a reality perspective. You can't ignore the financial dynamics involved.

Fran, based on the time and effort you've put into your site and trying to educate people, it's clear you aren't in it just for the money. All the best.


Fran White, Realtor said...

WOW Brent... thanks for the comment ....I really appreciate it.

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