Is It Time To Reduce The Price of My Home

Every seller wants to get the best possible price for their home but after some time on the market, you and your Realtor should have a discussion on whether it’s time to reduce the price. No one wants to lower their asking price for their home, but in some scenarios, it’s a necessary step if you want to sell your home. Some of the reasons it might make sense:

No showings. The market right now is so hot that you should be getting showings, even if your price is on the high end. If you’re getting no showings – or an abnormally low number – this tells you that you’re way off base and buyers don’t even want to waste their time seeing the property.

Lots of showings, no offers. Perhaps you have the opposite problem. You’ve had dozens of showings, but not a single offer. This tells you that your house meets the criteria of buyers, but something is off. Price could be the issue.

Shifting market. The real estate market changes on a daily basis. Depending on the sale price of other houses in the area, it’s possible that the valuation of your property has changed since you put it on the market. Maybe you need to lower the price in order to match up.

However, although the market usually plays a role, there are many reasons why houses don’t sell. So before you lower your asking price, you and your Realtor should discuss if everything is being done to sell your home. Some questions you should consider:

How has the Realtor been marketing your home? When a house sits on the market, ineffective marketing is often to blame. Does your listing include high-quality images, and does the written copy clearly highlight your home’s best features? Is it being promoted on social media? Has a direct mail campaign been launched? If buyers don’t know your home is for sale (or they haven’t seen it in the best possible light), you don’t yet know whether they’re willing to make a great offer.

Has your Realtor gotten any feedback from the buyers that have visited your home? Asking the right questions can help you figure out how to make a better impression moving forward. Ask a family member or friend to stop by and give you an honest, objective opinion of how your home looks. Sometimes, we need a fresh pair of eyes to see anything you and your agent may have missed. Find it, and fix it; it might be the sole reason your house is still on the market.

Have there been many showings? If so, your home is making a positive impression online. Buyers aren’t being turned off by the asking price, which is a good thing. But if you’ve had many showings and no offers (or no reasonable offers), then there might be something about your house that needs to change. 

The Bottom Line: Make sure you have the top agent in your area. Because of their constant engagement in local markets, Realtors are an invaluable resource for determining price, marketing your home, and managing all aspects of a sale. Before lowering your price, consider if you and your Realtor have exhausted all avenues to sell the house for what it’s worth. If your price is perfect, your home looks its best and your marketing is reaching its targeted audience, showings should increase, and, hopefully, offers will follow.

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Accepting the First Offer Because it is the Best Offer is Not Cliche

Often, when a seller has taken the time to properly prepare their home for sale, and they’ve hired the best Realtor who takes pride in presenting and marketing that home well a seller will receive offers right away. And, it’s not just a cliche, “your first offer is the best offer”, it’s more often than not, the truth.

So that first early offer? Sellers tend to reject it because they felt it happened too quickly and they want to hold out. They’re feeling adamant and confident because there is some good activity. Real Estate agents see good offers rejected early because the seller thinks they can get more.

Then, days, weeks even months later, the owners find themselves settling for less. That first offer should always be taken seriously and it’s probably the best opportunity to control the price and terms. It might not be what the seller was hoping for but, a good Realtor will walk the seller through a counteroffer, and even the ability to negotiate for other details can work for the seller.

The time a home is on the market to sell decreases its value. The longer it is listed the less interested buyers and Realtors are in the property. People will begin to wonder what is wrong with the property. Sellers are in the best position to get a good price for their home when it is new to the market. If the home does not sell buyers become suspect.

With a “for sale” sign in any yard too long, no matter the reason, it makes it more difficult to stir up interest. As the days go on, the home becomes less desirable. The market could change and take a downturn leaving the home that is priced on the comps when it was listed, now priced too high. An identical home could enter the market at a lower price. 

The Bottom Line: The first three weeks are usually the most active. If an offer is made during that time, there are three possible outcomes:

1. After some negotiation, the offer is accepted

2. After some negotiation the offer is rejected as being too low and the home continues to be marketed. Eventually, the home is sold for a better price

3. After some negotiation, the offer is rejected. Months later the Realtor is asked if the original buyer is still interested only to find out they have purchased elsewhere. The owner ends up reducing the price and sells for less than the original offer.

It’s worth working with that offer unless it’s ridiculously low.

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Experienced Realtors

Be sure to vet and find the best Real estate Agent before you set out to look for your next home. They have a huge role in one of the most important financial decisions you will make. When it comes to buying, selling, leasing, or renting, they will lead us through a sometimes bumpy and overwhelming process.

Websites can help you find the area you want to live in, even some of the houses that you want to see. But, an experienced Realtor can offer a level of expertise in the market that you won’t be able to get without her.

1. Advice. Expect your Realtor to provide advice relating to homes even before you tour them. A good agent will have already learned from you about what you want & need, what your preferences are and what your budget is. She will be able to help you narrow your search and identify your priorities.

2. Educate. Your Realtor will be able to provide data on the local home market and comparable sales. The home-buying process can be complicated. A good agent will explain the steps involved and make sure that you understand them and provide counsel to you.

3. Network. An agent who is familiar with the neighborhoods that you are interested in and will often know about pocket listings. Experienced agents tend to know other agents in the area and have good working relationships with them; this can lead to smooth transactions. Your agent may also be able to refer you to trusted professionals including lenders, home inspectors and contractors.

4. Advocate. When you work with a buyer’s agent, their fiduciary responsibility is to you. That means you have an expert who is looking out for your best financial interests, an expert who’s contractually bound to do everything in their power to protect you.

5. Negotiate. Your agent will handle the details of the negotiation process, including the preparation of all necessary offer and counteroffer forms. Once your inspection is done, the agent can also help you negotiate for repairs. Let the agent do the “dirty work” and ask for things to be fixed. They know how to negotiate from experience and what will and will not work.

6. Paperwork. A real estate transaction can be exhaustive, not to mention all the federal, state, and local documents required. If you forget to initial a clause or check a box, all those documents will need to be resubmitted. A good real estate agent understands the associated deadlines and details and can help you navigate these complex documents.

7. Knowledge. Plenty of issues can kill a deal right before the closing; perhaps the title of the house isn’t clear, the lender hasn’t met the financing deadline or the seller has failed to disclose a plumbing problem. An experienced real estate agent knows to watch for trouble before it’s too late, and can skillfully deal with challenges as they arise.

The Bottom Line: You can buy a home without a Realtor. People do it all the time. But, going at it alone can be a risky bet. There can be a lot of legal loopholes that can be overwhelming and confusing for someone not experienced in the real estate business. Buying a home is a long and often very emotional process. The Realtor will handle all the stress for you that goes with finding financing, negotiation, and closing.

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Contingent Offers

Contingencies are conditions that must be met to finalize a real estate transaction. They are in the contract to protect the buyers and sellers. A contingency is an opportunity to cancel the sale if issues develop with the property and/or transaction process. Removing or not including contingencies can make an offer more attractive to a seller but it can also leave the buyer unprotected.

5 Home Contingency Clauses:

The home inspection contingency clause is the most critical. It should be done by a neutral professional inspector to assess the major systems of the home. This will include electrical, plumbing, roofing, and structure. Without this contingency, the buyer has no recourse to issues and problems with the house. This is also true for waving the buyer’s ability to request the seller to make repairs. This is an important secondary negotiation between the parties. Many are selling “As Is” sales and there are buyers also that agree not to ask for repairs.

The home appraisal contingency clause tells the value of the home you want to buy. It will tell you whether you’re offering a fair price for the home or offering to pay too much. If the appraisal is too far below the price you’ve offered for the home, you can change your offer or back out of the deal altogether, if you wish.

The appraisal is also what the banks use to determine the amount and terms of the home loan to offer you. If the appraisal comes in too high, the bank loan you’re offered may not be enough to cover your costs to buy the home, and, to proceed with the transaction in spite of that, you’ll have to come up with the difference on your own.

The financing or mortgage contingency clause is another extremely common clause in real estate contracts. This clause states that your offer will be contingent on your ability to obtain financing. The financing clause will specify the type of financing you wish to obtain, the terms of the financing, and the amount of time you will have to apply for and be approved for a loan.

The financing contingency can be helpful for buyers because it protects you if your loan or financing falls through at the last minute and you are unable to secure financing at the last minute. This contingency will allow you to back out of the transaction without facing any legal consequences or losing the money you put up as part of your earned deposit. The financing contingency is one reason why sellers prefer working with all-cash buyers who will not need financing in order to buy.

The financing contingency protects the buyer because the buyer will only be obligated to complete the transaction if they are to secure financing or a loan from a bank or other financial institution.

The home sale contingency clause you can add to an offer to protect you in case your current home doesn’t sell. It states that you won’t purchase the home unless your existing house successfully closes within a certain time period—usually between one and two months. 

After that, you may be able to extend the contract with the seller’s permission. But if the seller doesn’t want to wait any longer for your home to sell, the contract will be void.

The title contingency clause will investigate the title of a home to make sure there are no problems with the ownership of the home. The title serves as a record of homeownership and is essential to the sale of the property. In most cases, any issues with the title can be resolved before the closing process. However, this situation could lead to several challenges for the potential new homeowners in some cases. A few examples include a lien on the property that must be paid before the sale or perhaps an ownership dispute if the seller cannot legally prove they own the property. A title contingency protects potential owners from these situations by allowing them the opportunity to walk away if these issues are not resolved before closing.

The Bottom Line: As a buyer, contingencies are vital: They provide you with an escape hatch from the property purchase if, for example, your mortgage financing falls through or other uncontrollable events or discoveries create barriers to your finalizing the deal. However, they make your offer less attractive to the seller. In hot markets with competitive bidding situations, buyers sometimes omit or waive certain contingencies altogether.

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