How Much Should I Offer on a Home?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

How Much Should I Offer on a Home?

Buying a home is a major event in our lives and we want to make sure we’re doing everything right and not overpaying for our dream home. How do we know what that price is? It’s really not that complicated but time isn’t on your side as a buyer, just don’t take too long to make a decision.

I’m hoping you are working with a local, knowledgeable Realtor you trust. Keep in mind, a Real Estate agent is there to guide you, the final decision is yours.

Here are some myths on how much you should offer on a home;

-Cash is king, cash buyers should offer “x” amount lower than list price
-Always offer less than asking price
-Don’t ever pay the asking price
-Call the listing agent directly to pay a lower price for a home
-Google the answer
-Ask uncle Joe, he’s been buying homes for years
-The house has been on the market for two months, sellers must be desperate to take just about anything
-Always ask for seller concession

As a buyer, it is important for you to get pre-approved by a lender if financing so you know exactly what you can pay for your dream home. Most sellers wouldn’t even entertain your offer if you do not have a pre-approval letter along with the offer. If you haven’t already, search, interview and find an agent to assist you with your home purchase.
Some buyers look at homes $50,000-$100,000 over their approved credit thinking they can pay considerably less than asking, this is not a good tactic at all, you’ll be opening yourselves up for disappointment.

-Making an Offer- your agent should be pulling comps to see what the similar homes are selling for to determine a fair market value of the home you wish to make an offer on.

-Best and Final- If there are multiple offers on the home, you should reconsider offering less than asking. I am currently working with a buyer, she asked me to offer $120,000 less than asking knowing there were multiple offers. This is an REO and fair market value is close to $600,000. Guess what? She didn’t get the house.

-Do you really want the house? If you really want to own the home, be fair. Be fair with your offer when it comes to price as well as the inspection. Asking for things like removing nails from the walls or replacing a dead plant can kill the deal.

Lastly, when it comes to buying or selling a home and how much you should list or pay it, don’t believe everything you read online, instead, talk to a professional.

How Much Should I Offer on a Home?



Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Amanda S. Davidson 02/15/2018 05:57 AM
  2. Debe Maxwell, CRS 02/18/2018 08:26 PM
  3. Diana Dahlberg 02/19/2018 06:52 PM
  4. Gabe Sanders 02/27/2018 11:30 PM
  5. Will Hamm 02/27/2018 01:11 PM
Home Buying
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Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

In today's Seller's Market ... if a Buyer wants the house they need to trust the Agent who is working with them, hopefully as their Buyer's Agent and be willing to pay over the asking price, especially if there are multiple offers in. There are no Steal Deals in today's market of Low Inventory levels.

Feb 19, 2018 06:42 PM #27
Jim Holder
HomeSmart Connect - Arlington Heights, IL

There is no substitute for 'knowing the neighborhood" values.

Sounds like you had a rookie (investor) buyer! (it might take you a year to educate this one,  if ever)  I'd like to hear your follow-up on this buyer

However, the best answer to your question is:  make your best offer, that if someone makes a higher offer you wouldn't be disappointed. (like good for them as they got some bigger ones (kahunas).

Great subject....

Feb 19, 2018 07:09 PM #28
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

I agree with Margaret Goss--I will give a buyer comparable information and market conditions, but I will not tell them what to offer. I am working with a buyer now who says that agents in NY and NH have told him what to offer on a house, but that is not how I work. I will tell them once they give me a number if it is way out of line. But they are still free to name their price and let the seller decide.

Feb 19, 2018 07:37 PM #29
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Beth,

Data shows you how to handle an offer. You cannot bid for two years ago.

Feb 19, 2018 08:36 PM #30
Aaron "AG" Gray
Liberty Bell Real Estate - Jenkintown, PA

The numbers don't lie, I airways instruct my clients that their offer should reflect their desire to purchase the home, and ask then at what point would they be sick if they did not get the house.

Feb 20, 2018 03:21 AM #31
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Beth, what a great way to educate the consumer.

Myths abound in real estate. If a buyer is not working with a knowledgeable and professional Real Estate Agent, they are ignoring one of the great resources available to them.

Thanks for sharing.

Feb 20, 2018 04:49 AM #33
Constantine Isslamow
Century 21 United Realty Inc. - Peterborough, ON
"Training and Accountability"

I find some  buyers are more curious than serious about buying a home. 

Thanks for sharing your post.

Feb 20, 2018 05:51 AM #34
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Wiggle room. Sometimes there isn't any and buyers who think the seller will come down can find out no they won't, no they don't. When the sale goes pending on its' way in the direction of a real estate closing.

Feb 20, 2018 06:33 AM #35
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

You share some great advice about making an offer. The answer is, it depends!

Feb 20, 2018 07:10 AM #36
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

A low-ball offer in San Diego?  LOL!  Good luck with that!  Great advice Beth 

Feb 20, 2018 08:49 AM #37
Elizabeth Y. Foulds
Long & Foster Real Estate - Saint Michaels, MD
Your St Michaels Realtor

Thank you for sharing.  The key to making the right offer is to choose a local agent who knows the market and can give best advice on comparisons although buyers have to realize that price is only one aspect of buying a house.  They need all the facts.  Inventory is currently low in my area and it is now a sellers marketing resulting in multiple offers for the first time in my career.

Feb 20, 2018 09:00 AM #38
Susanne Brown
RE/MAX Realty 9 - Howell, NJ
I work hard to make real estate dreams come true!

Great article.  Every situation is differnent and there is no cut and dried answer for all situations. The key is to work with someone who knows the market and can guide you to the right answer for you, the buyer or the seller.  If you've seen a proper market analysis and toured similar homes then you should be in a good postition to make an acceptable offer.  Some people prefer to negotiate even when the market is showing that properties are priced correctly. In a seller's market putting your best foot forward is typically the smart way to go. Having a knowledgable professional in your corner and listening to their advice is the best way to get the deal done.

Feb 20, 2018 11:12 AM #39
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

Thank you for the great advice to homebuyers! It is sometimes frustrating to work with buyers who think that they know better and won't offer the asking or fair market price. Aloha!

Feb 20, 2018 04:22 PM #40
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

It depends on who the professional is, doesn't it? I've seen many professionals who are fearful of losing an income opportunity and are simply order takers regardless of the circumstances, suitability or reasonability of closing a real estate transaction. The true professional is fearless and can always decline to represent a client who is unreasonable, uncooperative or reluctant to accept his advice or strategies. 

Feb 21, 2018 01:46 AM #41
Kirby Stearley
FC Tucker Co - Indianapolis, IN
Listed & Sold in the Greater Indianapolis Area

Some Buyers are just "cheap"!  I have one that has lost at least 6 because they are still living in the 80's.  In our market when a "good" house is listed and it's in a trendy or stable neighborhood, you better be prepared for multiple offers and to go over list price.   Sellers review a handful of offers and pick the one that is very clean, has a reputable lender or cash and can be reasonable about closing.  This will eventually change but right now you better be ready to  spend some bucks and act fast.  Taking a few days to "think about it" doesn't work in 2018.  Nice post by the way.  Some good points!

Feb 21, 2018 02:57 AM #42
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I liked this post b/c besides offering good advice--it was a funny too!

Feb 21, 2018 09:22 AM #43
Todd Kaufman
Rodeo Realty Fine Estates - Simi Valley, CA
Simi Valley CA real estate agent

Love it!

Feb 21, 2018 07:07 PM #44
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

On point, Beth.  This is a must see for those that don't understand the process.  Ah, so much information and so little time.  We can't save them all.

Feb 22, 2018 04:09 PM #45
Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME.
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

You make it seem so easy to make offers based upon emotion rather than reality.  

Feb 23, 2018 08:37 AM #46
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

In a current Seller's market in most of our ara...either you write with your Big Person pants on....or lose the opportunity to  own the home !

Feb 28, 2018 02:51 AM #47
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Beth Atalay

Cam Realty of Clermont FL
Sell or Buy Homes in Clermont FL
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