There are some great deals coming onto the market everyday. I've seen a few first hand and sometimes I want to scream out loud for someone to come and get the deal of the year.
Unfortunately, no matter what I say to a buyer, if they don't trust me and my experience they won't feel comfortable pulling the buying trigger and snagging a great deal.
Unless you are in the game and looking at homes and getting a good feel for value, you probably aren't going to trust me when I tell you that you are going to get a great deal even if you make an offer over the full asking price. You are going to think that I'm nuts for suggesting that you pay full list price in this kind of market. Then you are going to get mad at me when your low ball offer gets rejected and you miss out on the perfect deal.
Recently, I've seen a couple of crazy deals. A home I had listed 3 years ago for $459,000 finally went into foreclosure. The guy had it financed for about $436,000. He had it listed with a few others after my listing expired but it never sold. It was probably worth $350,000 in today's market.
I fell off my chair when I saw that the bank listed it for $152,000. I talked with several people about what an awesome deal this was and told them that it would go for much more than the list price. But if you haven't been looking in that market, there's just no way that you would think about putting in an offer at $200,000.
Well, it sold this week and I saw that it went at $250,000. Someone got a great deal even though they paid $100,000 more than list price.
I had a buyer give me a call the other day who had just seen two homes and at the insistance of his agent, he put in a full price offer. He was very uncomfortable about doing this. He just didn't trust that his agent had his best interests at heart. I suggested that he have his agent show him 10 more homes in the same area in order for him to be convinced that this was in fact a great deal and he should continue through with the contract.
I am a firm believer in "trust but verify".
Don't take anyone's word for it. Don't even trust your cousin Vinny. Don't trust the "Christian" Realtor. Trust your own eyes. Maybe you can trust your Mom but even there, make sure she knows what's going on in the current market.
If you've only seen one home and your agent wants you to jump on it, just tell him to "Show me more homes!" If you don't have that first hand experience, you'll be like this guy on the ground looking up at Dirty Harry asking whether or not you feel lucky.