I have a client searching for the perfect house for her, her family, and her dog. We recently discussed the offer process…
“How much less do I offer?” she asked me.
Red flags waved in front of my eyes – “What do you mean?” I asked.
“What’s the number less I offer?” she queried. ” Do we always offer a set amount off, like five or ten thousand dollars, or do we use a percentage, like 3% or 10%?”
I shook my head and said, “Sometimes we offer full price. Sometimes we should offer less, if it’s overpriced, and sometimes, in a multiple offer situation, we might wind up offering more. If we always offer, say 10% off of asking with every house you like, you’re going to lose a lot of houses, because that’s not the way it works. Some houses will sell for more, some will sell for less, but we cannot make a blanket policy to always offer a certain amount off.”
She understood, because she’s a reasonable woman, and we discussed earnest money, terms and conditions, inspections, etc.
I know, that in the somewhat recession-proof Tri-Cities, we still have access to news from all over. And in many places in America, there are housing markets that demand a lower offering price, because there are desperate sellers. We’re not one of them.
Buying a house can be a numbers game, and I know that for some people, the bottom line is the only one that matters. But I see my role as not just a negotiator, not just an allay, not just a salesperson, but I’ve got knowledge I want to share. What does that make me? A teacher?
In the Tri-Cities we offer what the house is worth, according the market data. We don’t automatically discount because we think we should, or because that’s what they’re doing elsewhere.