In the Nothern Virginia market where in many neighborhoods the list to sales price ration is 95% or more a lowball offer won't get past round one. Writing a reasonable well thought out offer will at least give you a fighting chance.
5 Ways to Tick off a Seller (and Shoot Yourself in the Foot)
By Mary Borth, Keller Williams Realty, Bloomington Normal IL
1. Make a low-ball offer that is completely unreasonable just to “see what happens”. Sellers leave some room for negotiation, but not as much as you think. As a buyer, your Realtor should be showing you comps and past sales so you have a clear picture of the value of the home. If you make an uneducated low offer, many sellers will completely reject the offer and wait for another buyer.
2. Counteroffer in ridiculously small increments. With a fair offer, you will usually meet in agreement somewhere in the middle. Don’t counteroffer $500-$1000 at a time just to waste everyone’s time. Remember, both sides want the deal to work so don’t make it harder on everyone by being difficult.
3. Be disrespectful to the seller and the seller’s agent. (see 1 & 2 above) Also, be mindful of deadlines, returning emails and calls. Again, both sides are looking for a win-win, so treat the other side the way you would like to be treated. In other words, use common courtesy.
4. Make unreasonable requests after the home inspection. Chances are there will be more issues with the inspection than you imagined. Many of these issues will be completely normal wear and tear. Talk with your Realtor about each issue and how to respond. This is a chance for you to walk away from the home if there are too many problems. However, if you decide to continue with the purchase, be reasonable about your repair/replacement requests.
5. Change your mind frequently with no regard for the contract details. Of course there are always exceptions and your Realtor should always work for your best interests. However, if you are constantly changing your mind about deadlines, inspections, etc., you need to remember that you have signed a legal contract and changes in those terms mean a lot of hassle for everyone involved.
Good manners, respect and reliability are essential for BOTH sides of a transaction. Everyone wants the deal to work and it will go much smoother if all parties work for a win-win.
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