Not many buyers can review a stack of comparables sales and know how to compare them to the home you like. So here are a few helpful hints on what you should ask and expect your realtor to provide you with.
First of all review the basics. Price per square foot, upgrades, and location are all very important aspects in determining value. You should take a look at each one and make sure you are comparing apples to apples. You cannot compare a Mission Park home to a Pleasanton Valley. You have to stay within the same or a comparable neighborhood. Ask your realtor to go over each comparable with you. Why did this one sell for this and that one for that? They should be able to compare each home with the home you are interested in.
What are the current market conditions? Ask your realtor to provide you with a breakdown of list price versus sale price. This statistic will show you how much negotaitabily has been happening. Your realtor should be able to show you what is a reasonable range to consider offering.
Assessing the seller’s motivation is maybe the most important aspect. This is a key element that has been lost over the past couple of years. Buyers or buyer’s agents sometimes think any offer is acceptable and if the seller does not like the offer they can just counter the offer. Well a lot of times you are dealing with a seller that has a great sense of pride with their home, and you can easily insult them. When you insult them you will most likely never get the best price possible. Every realtor should call the listing agent to discuss why the seller is selling and how motivated they are.
All of these factors should be considered when determining what to offer a seller. Ask the realtor what they think you should offer and then consider it yourself. I firmly believe you should view as many homes as possible so when the right home comes on the market you will know how well the value is. You cannot gauge values online; you need to get out there to view them. I have seen this too many times when the right home comes along buyers feel they haven’t seen enough homes. This all can be avoided if you get out there and get a feel for things yourself!