Monday, November 15, 2010

Fielding a Lowball Purchase Offer on Your Home

Consider before you ignore or outright refuse a very low purchase offer for your home. A counteroffer and negotiation could turn that low purchase offer into a sale.

Check your emotions

A purchase offer, even a very low one, means someone wants to purchase your home. Unless the offer is laughably low, it deserves a cordial response, whether that’s a counteroffer or an outright rejection. Remain calm and discuss with your real estate agent the many ways you can respond to a lowball purchase offer.

Counter the purchase offer

Unless you’ve received multiple purchase offers, the best response is to counter the low offer with a price and terms you’re willing to accept. Some buyers make a low offer because they think that’s customary, they’re afraid they’ll overpay, or they want to test your limits.

A counteroffer signals that you’re willing to negotiate. One strategy for your counteroffer is to lower your price, but remove any concessions such as seller assistance with closing costs, or features such as kitchen appliances that you’d like to take with you.

Consider the terms

Price is paramount for most buyers and sellers, but it’s not the only deal point. A low purchase offer might make sense if the contingencies are reasonable, the closing date meets your needs, and the buyer is preapproved for a mortgage. Consider what terms you might change in a counteroffer to make the deal work.

Review your comps

Ask your REALTOR® whether any homes that are comparable to yours (known as “comps”) have been sold or put on the market since your home was listed for sale. If those new comps are at lower prices, you might have to lower your price to match them if you want to sell.

Consider the buyer’s comps

Buyers sometimes attach comps to a low offer to try to convince the seller to accept a lower purchase offer. Take a look at those comps. Are the homes similar to yours? If so, your asking price might be unrealistic. If not, you might want to include in your counteroffer information about those homes and your own comps that justify your asking price.

If the buyers don’t include comps to justify their low purchase offer, have your real estate agent ask the buyers’ agent for those comps.

Get the agents together

If the purchase offer is too low to counter, but you don’t have a better option, ask your real estate agent to call the buyer’s agent and try to narrow the price gap so that a counteroffer would make sense. Also, ask your real estate agent whether the buyer (or buyer’s agent) has a reputation for lowball purchase offers. If that’s the case, you might feel freer to reject the offer.

Don’t signal desperation

Buyers are sensitive to signs that a seller may be receptive to a low purchase offer. If your home is vacant or your home’s listing describes you as a “motivated” seller, you’re signaling you’re open to a low offer.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Have you noticed the days are starting to get shorter? That can mean only one thing, winter is on the way and we need to get ready for the days of coats, boots, gloves, and hats. You also need to make sure that your home is prepared for snow and ice.The following is a list of  easy winterization tips.
  1. Check the furnace. In order to keep your furnace in optimal condition, it should be cleaned and tuned annually by a certified HVAC technician. During the winter you should check your filter monthly.
  2. Insulate. Make sure all cracks and leaks are sealed and that your attic has at least 12” of insulation on the floor. If you go into the attic and you can see the floor joists you know don’t have enough.
  3. Wrap those pipes. Be sure all out door plumbing is turned off and properly drained including the sprinkler system. Disconnect all hoses to prevent frozen hose bibs. Also insulate all plumbing that passes through unheated spaces.
  4. Check all detectors. Replace batteries in the smoke alarms and CO detectors. If you don’t have a CO detector install one.
  5. Reverse the ceiling fans. It sounds like a small tip but it will push the warm air downward and help keep you more comfortable.
  6. Clean the chimney. Also make sure the chimney cap is secure. If you don’t have a protective cap you might want to consider getting one with a mesh screen. To keep the cold air out the damper should be closed when the fireplace is not in use.