I distinctly recall hearing stories from customers in different areas of the country before the recent real estate boom changed the real estate world, particularly in rural areas. Stories about negotiations pushing home prices 10% over the asking price seemed pretty crazy to me, but in some cases, here we are.
It’s important to look at the date on this article, this information is likely going to be accurate only for a few months, but it’s good to earmark where things have been. I’ve got articles from 2014 with much different advice.
Price: Asking prices and offer amounts seem to change weekly, if not daily in this market. With the lack of public sale information and the unknown as to how far things are selling over the asking price this one’s hard to nail down without the advice of an agent that is in the thick of current trends. I have seen sale prices anywhere from $5,000 to 15% over the asking price depending on the sector of the market. We will usually see significant increases over asking on condos and townhouses, but that does not preclude any other type of Real Estate depending on the initial asking price. I should also note that some things are still selling under, it’s all about the tactic of the seller.
Finance and Appraisal: This one has been incredibly tough for buyers looking to get into the market. It’s frustrating and disheartening when a finance contingency is holding up the ability to compete with cash buyers. As a result, we’ve seen buyers agree to waive appraisal contingencies, assuming they have the cash balance to cover the difference. Waiving appraisal contingency and providing a pre-qualification letter with 5% down is difficult, but we haven’t seen too many problems with appraisals. Appraisers seem to be in the know with real estate prices. However, cash is still king, and hard to compete with as mentioned.
Inspection: Fortunately we haven’t seen a shift in our market where buyers have been (or need to) waving inspection contingencies in order to compete. Deposits that are immediately non-refundable are rare, and personally, I hope it stays that way. These are big investments and buyers need the opportunity to vet properties inside and out. This market also produces a number of site-unseen offers (often there is no choice with the quick timing of things) and I believe it would be unreasonable for sellers to expect buyers to waive contingencies altogether as a result.
There are a handful of other negotiating tips and tricks like escalation clauses and the like, and there’s a time and place for different tactics to achieve maximum results. I know I sound like a scumbag real estate agent when I say this, but as mentioned above, it’s absolutely paramount to have a local agent that has a close ear to the ground.
It will be fun to come back to this article 2 years from now!