"So, How Much Will Sellers Usually Take Off of the Price?"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

The question above is one that I have heard dozens of times over the years.  Some home buyers hear about the deal that their friend or relative got when they bought a home, and they're curious to see if this is the norm.

In a nutshell, there is no standard formula for real estate prices.  Just as there is no "national" real estate market (markets are local), there is no set percentage that can be negotiated off of a listing price. 

My answer to the question in the title is as follows:

"I wish I could tell you that you can get 3% off, or 5%, or any specific amount, but this is something that has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis once you find some places that interest you.  We'll have to see how long it's been on the market, whether or not and when they reduced it, stuff like that. 

A home that needs some work might be easier to negotiate than one that's in perfect condition, or a place that's vacant might mean they're making two payments already. 

Truthfully, I can give you a better answer once you've found a place that you want to pursue."

A little long-winded?  Perhaps, but it's also the best answer that I can offer.

If you are a home buyer reading this post, I hope this comes in handy.  If you're an agent, feel free to steal this answer for your own purposes.  :-)

I'm not typically one to advocate memorizing scripts for various situations, since it's more natural to put things in your own words, but if you're new to the business, this gives you an outline to start from. 

Thanks for reading!


Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drachmann/327122302/


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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 06/13/2010 04:39 AM
  2. John Elwell 06/13/2010 08:00 AM
  3. Kristin Moran 06/13/2010 02:25 PM
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Shelley Rowton
Move To Realty - Austin, TX
ABR, RSPS - (512) 507-5779 MoveToRealty of Austin

Showing homes in Lakeway last week, my long-time client told me that his "financial guy" told him if he couldn't get 15% off the list price on *any* home, it was time to move on to the next one.  I asked where this "guru" was...and was told "California."  Ding, ding, ding!  We're not in California anymore, Toto!  We're in Austin, TX - arguably the best market in the country.  15% off list is not happening anytime soon - at least not on anything we were looking at....

Jun 13, 2010 08:18 AM #52
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Jason - good answers to the question, you seem to have addressed  most of what will affect the seller's counter. Of course a lot of it just depends upon how stubborn the seller is.

Jun 13, 2010 08:21 AM #53
Rob Lang
At Home Kansas / www.AskRobLang.com - Lawrence, KS
Local Expert in Lawrence Kansas Real Estate Homes

I agree that there is no standard.  Rather, it is better to just talk about value (actual and perceived) and react accordingly.  Thank you for sharing this post.

Jun 13, 2010 08:41 AM #54
Laura Coffey
Keller Williams VIP Properties - Valencia, CA
Keller Williams VIP Properties

It's best to run the comps. Here in Santa Clarita inventory is low. Often homes now go over list. So many factors go into making a sound offer.

Jun 13, 2010 09:02 AM #55
Andrew Plank
Holmes Realty Ltd - Saanich, BC
Modern tools and old-fashioned service

Good advice Jason.  Its a matter of educating our clients and managing their expecations.  Usually the unsaid question behind the question is, how can I get the best deal and ensure I haven't paid too much.

I find offering too little initially on the right home may end up costing buyers more.  Sellers usually have a bottom line.  Unless there is underlying extreme motivation, coming in way off the "Won't go a penny lower" line will only result in a full price counter offer, or no resonse.  Future offers aren't taken as seriously and the seller will be less accomodating.  Assuming you have done your due dilligence and established market value via CMA, come in within the low end of reasonable and see what happens.  You'll likely get further, faster, than the "Tug-o-war" approach.  Sometimes you can nudge the sellers bottom line, but only if you're close enough to it to temp the seller to bite.   

Jun 13, 2010 09:19 AM #56
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I'm always surprised when they ask this question before we've even gone to look at houses.  Good answer.

Jun 13, 2010 10:47 AM #57
Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

Jason, thank you for the permission to use this!!! 

Jun 13, 2010 12:18 PM #58
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

You might not need a script, if you use that as your script. Case by case scenario. Perfect.

Jun 13, 2010 02:31 PM #59
Kathryn Acciari
Cameron Real Estate Group - Shrewsbury, MA
RSPS, SRS, REALTOR(R) Sturbridge-Shrewsbury MA

I agree - case by case basis.  I'll show the buyers what the comps have sold for, and the list vs sale price % difference.  Sometimes I'll be surprised by a very strong offer and other times the buyers still want to start low just to see what happens.

Jun 13, 2010 02:59 PM #60
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I get that one, too.  And my answer is similar.  We also have the conversation about over-priced homes v those that are priced well... 

Jun 13, 2010 04:08 PM #61
Darrel Cook CRS, GRI, Broker
Darrel Cook Real Estate Service - Jonesboro, AR

Well sometimes when I am ask that question, I just say, well sometimes they sell for more than there asking,

Jun 13, 2010 04:41 PM #62
Stephen P. Panczak, Sr, MBA
Hypoluxo, FL
Realtor, Property Mgm't, LCAM

Jason - I agree, it's common questions that must be addressed in just about every situation. The answer is based on a case-by-case basis.....good post.

Jun 13, 2010 11:03 PM #63
Pam Turner, REALTOR®, e-PRO®, SFR
Century 21 Belk Realtors Dalton GA - Dalton, GA

One of those 'I wish I had a dollar for every time' questions. I think people actually expect you to give them a dollar amount answer.

Jun 14, 2010 01:00 AM #64
Jenn Neumann Deer
RE/MAX Southern Shores - Surfside Beach, SC
Surfside Beach Real Estate

Yes, it seems that question is on everyone's mind.  Many buyers think the foreclosures will negotiate a lot and in our area at least the prices start off very low and more than competitive so depending on the condition and location of the property, multiple offers and selling over asking price is happening a lot with foreclosure properties. 

Definitely case-by-case!  Thanks for sharing.

Jun 14, 2010 03:07 AM #65
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Every transaction is different, there's not set answer for me .

 Thanks for the post today.

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Jun 14, 2010 06:43 AM #67
Kathy Kenney
Keller Williams, Princeton, NJ - Robbinsville, NJ
Realtor - Princeton & Central NJ Homes for Sale

Couldn't agree more with what has been said here today.  Every market is different, every home sale is unique.  Without doing a thorough analysis of the area, there's no way to say what they "should" take.  And even then, there's no guarantee that they "will" take!  Turn off the TV!  As much as I like HGTV, until they explain how they can paint a room for $20.00, I won't believe anything they say!

Jun 14, 2010 07:14 AM #68
Lori Cofer
Beasley Realty - Moscow, ID
REALTOR, Moscow Idaho Real Estate



It really is on a case-by-case basis.  If two people fall in love with the same house, its going to be a lot different from a house that has been on the market for months and months and months.


Lori Cofer

Jun 14, 2010 01:08 PM #69
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

That is a good answer to the question, and certainly true.  Each situation is unique.

Jun 14, 2010 04:23 PM #70
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jason - This is a good, sensible answer.  it's almost impossible to answer that kind of general question.

Jun 14, 2010 05:52 PM #71
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

The most difficult part of working with buyers is getting them to offer a realistic price. No matter how low the list price they want to offer less .

Jun 14, 2010 10:58 PM #72
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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