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How To.... Write an Offer to Buy a Glendale Home

By
Real Estate Agent with Teles Properties
This is one of a series of articles designed to help you, my little chitlins, engage wisely in the game of Real Estate. Today we tackle the all time buyer question, how low should I write the offer? After all, the mass media outlets (our "Chicken Little" friends at the LA Times, cable news and others) would lead you to believe that buying any more than 27% or more off the "market" price is stupid. I know you guys read the paper, because I get calls all day long from buyers offering to buy my listings for really low prices and asking questions like, "how flexible is the price?" and "is this a foreclosure sale?". If you are purely an investor, these are meaningful questions. What kind of a deal can be done on this house? However, nearly all of the people asking the questions are looking for a home. A place to live, love, raise a family. The first question should be - do I want to live in this home? And, when it comes time to make an offer, ask yourself, "do I want to buy this home or do I want to make an offer?" These are two very different things. If you just want to make an offer, be aggressive. Offer 10% or 15% below asking. It doesn't matter - you don't care if you get the house or not. Actually, you should ask yourself - if they accept my crazy offer, will I still want the house? But if you want to BUY the home, well, that is completely different. You should know the recent comparable sales in the area and have a realistic idea of how the subject home compares. You should know what your budget truly is - and stick to it. You should assess, does the home stack up to your priorities, or is it just wickedly pretty? And then... only then... you should write an offer to buy it. How much off the list price should you offer? First of all, the facts. Homes sell for about 3%-5% off the list price. Not 15%. Certainly not 27%. Bank REO's routinely sell for more than the list. I just had 4 offers on my listing on Norton and it sold for above list. Sometimes I will tell my buyers to offer less than the 3%-5% - because the listing agent told me to (there's a whole blog post right there), or the property is ripe for a price reduction or I heard a tidbit of gossip. But this strategy rarely works. No, if you want to buy you should write a solid offer no more than 5% off, and that is only if there are no other offers. If this is the house for you and the numbers make sense for you - buy it.