Should What You Want To Do To The House Change Your Offer?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

A fixer upper?We've found a home you're interested in, but it's not an exact match for what you want it to be.

It needs new carpet.

The paint colors are not in style.

The home has had no updates since it was built.

Appliances are old.

The HVAC system is 20 years old.

So you see a LOT of things that you want changed, or could potentially fail soon.

Should these things impact your offer price?  After all, you're going to have to spend quite a few dollars AFTER you own the home, right?

Well the answer isn't a definitive Yes or No, but an It Depends.

The bottom line is understanding the market conditions for the type of home and area.

Are there a scarcity of homes for sale?

How is the home priced relative to similar homes?

Were those sold homes updated or similar to the home that interests you?

Are the changes you want to make essential to the homes function, or more oriented to personal choice?

When you have this information, it's easier to assess whether the home is priced appropriately for its condition, or priced like a home that is updated and not calibrated to the actual market conditions.

Once we can determine the situation, then we're in position to determine what should be the market value for the home.  That said, it MAY take more than that to get the home if the seller isn't motivated to get the deal done.

It's a case by case situation.  You can't get the answer from any home valuation website, there are just too many factors to consider.  Hire a buyers agent to help you.

Want to discuss further?  Just give us a call at 513-520-5305.

Serving Greater Cincinnati home buyers and sellers,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz


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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Hopefully the sellers have taken the condition (old carpet, old appliances, etc..) in consideration and priced accordingly.  In lieu of common-sense pricing, you can always attempt to negotiate based on condition.

However, just because the kitchen has white countertops, you want black countertops... doesn't mean you should adjust your offer to accommodate your decorating desires.

Feb 10, 2020 04:15 AM #8
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I like to have this talk with my buyers as we see the home. There is a difference to what is needed to what they want to change. I like to show them the value of the home as is, so they can make a good offer. Some homes are already priced low based on poor condition, some are over priced. If they are interested knowing what to offer and how much they want the home are all factors. 

Feb 10, 2020 05:11 AM #9
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Hello Bill & Liz,

This is a great topic to broach with buyers, and "it depends" is right! Sometimes the house is priced to reflect the need for changes already - so the seller has already taken that into account. It all depends on the situation!

Feb 10, 2020 05:17 AM #10
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

I often get buyers that don't buy a house and schedule another one shortly after. When I ask the agent what happened on the first one, they say it had too many outdated things to do, and the sellers wouldn't come down on the price to cover any of the updates. We're talking paint, new cabinets, carpet, wallpaper, all cosmetic things. Nothing about electrical or plumbing or furnace, just cosmetic. It was crazy.


Feb 10, 2020 07:20 AM #11
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Excellent post, although it may not be the answer many buyers want to hear. Always comes down to asking questions to uncover what really is.

Feb 10, 2020 08:17 AM #12
Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Often times, "it depends" is the best answer.  One indicator could be the days on market.  If the house has been on the market for a long time, maybe a lower price would make sense.  Of course, the seller might have other thoughts. ;o)

Feb 10, 2020 08:25 AM #13
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

It depends, doesn't it? The devil is always in the details. I advise buyers not to change their number unless the inspection reveals something that wasn't obvious to the naked eye. And if there are competing offers, a free lowball "appraisal" wastes everyone's time. 

Feb 10, 2020 08:25 AM #14
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The premises introduced here is no myth...Get help before its needed....

Feb 10, 2020 03:01 PM #15
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

As you stated in a comment, every house is a case by case review.

Feb 10, 2020 03:31 PM #16
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Good buyer issues that indeed only a knowledgeable agent with excellent knowledge of the local market can resolve (if buyers listen!).

Feb 10, 2020 03:52 PM #17
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

If the home was perfect, it would have aleady sold, wouldn't it? Great post.

Feb 10, 2020 08:01 PM #18
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

BAck when I was an agent we sold a LOT of homes on seller contracts. Part of the reason was that banks wouldn't lend on homes priced under a certain value. Part of it was that the houses needed work - and they were priced accordingly.

Every now and then there would be a buyer who wanted a low price or an "almost nothing" down payment because they were going to do a lot of work to the house. I would ask them if they planned on defaulting.

They'd say no, of course. Then I would explain that the seller wouldn't care what they were going to do to the house unless they thought they were going to get it back.

Feb 10, 2020 08:25 PM #19
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Bill:

You've made some excellent points. Buyers often start to tick off all they don't like or want to change and substract lots of dollars from the price before making an offer. And somehow those estimates of what it's going to take are not based in reality. "It depends" really is an important consideration to discuss with someone who knows that market and what's selling.


Feb 10, 2020 09:39 PM #20
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

Exactly! If you want all new, then maybe you should look at new construction. You can't necessarily discount the price because you "want" to replace windows and doors, garage door, door opener, remove a tree, etc.

Feb 11, 2020 05:29 AM #21
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

 wher can I get the car?

Feb 11, 2020 07:13 AM #22
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Oh we've all been through this scenerio before....and you are correct, IT DEPENDS.  So many pp say "I can do some updating" then touring the home, I hear "this is too much work" when in reality some paint and new carpet would do wonders!

Feb 12, 2020 12:51 PM #23
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Really insightful post. It used to be common for a buyer to want to offer $10,000 less because they wanted to update the kitchen. We are not seeing that so much any more, but you're right. It's so much more than that and you need a professional to help you navigate the waters.

Feb 13, 2020 07:51 PM #24
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Great Post.  And yes ... IT DEPENDS!  Thank you for your well written Feature post.  I will remember to bring some of these thoughts into consideration when approaching my next buyer asking the question.  Happens often.

Feb 14, 2020 01:48 PM #25
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Hi Liz and Bill,

Good post. I was going to say depends just by reading your title. Then as I read your post you hit the nail on the head. 

Feb 15, 2020 04:58 PM #26
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent points to ponder for every market scenario.  Knowing that you might have to deal with those issues, JUST to get a home under contract, is good to keep in mind when writing an offer.  Nuff said! 

Feb 17, 2020 12:31 PM #27
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