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DCU Realty's Home Buying Guide

Factors to Consider
to Submit a Winning Offer

You've found the home of your dreams -- now you have to submit an offer that's accepted by the seller! Here's some factors we consider to craft a winning offer to buy a house.

This is the most exciting moment in the house buying process. You have finally found the house of your dreams. Don't worry! Most people know the moment they walk inside. If it doesn't hit you that quickly, if you find that you are comparing every other home you have seen to this one, it's a good sign that this is the one. What's next? Write up a winning offer… One that compels the seller to want to sell it to YOU!

How We'll Determine the Market Value of the Property

comparative sold properties

To make a successful offer on a property, we first determine the real market value of the property. It won't be a deal if you pay far in excess of the home's market value. Does the list price accurately reflect the market value? Has the seller overestimated their house's value? Is the seller biding their time to wait for an offer that meets their overflated estimate of their home's true worth rather than reflect the market value? That's where our research comes in.

Research starts with looking at properties that have sold in the neighborhood with similar characteristics. Our agents carefully look at the condition and the amenities of the property in question to determine its value.

It's important to note that the asking/list price of the property will not necessarily be the selling price. One cannot look at listing prices to determine the value of a property. The actual selling price may be thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars different (and usually less) than the initial list price of the home.

We check current listings of properties that match the characteristics of the one you are considering. If the other agents have priced this home accordingly based upon market values then the asking price should be consistent with values of other properties in the immediate neighborhood. Such is not always the case.

expired listings

We also check expired listings. These are the homes that have not sold within a specific period of time. This information is not readily available to the public, but it's available to DCU Agents. It helps us know what type of homes are NOT selling in the immediate neighborhood. These listings will help us make an offer that contains the best terms for yourself and reflects the values of properties in the neighborhood that have sold.

It's important to understand why a property didn't sell at the listed price for the period of time it was listed. There are any of a number of reasons that could include: price too high, neighborhood characteristics, property condition, ineffective/nonexistent marketing plan, inflexible in negotiation, or any combination.

Because we visit many similar properties on the market, we can often determine the reason(s). We take what we learn from these properties to develop an winning offering price for the house you are seeking.

Timing and Terms

In addition to price, which is usually the more important factor, you do also need to consider timing and terms. Don't expect the seller to be out in a week or wait indefinitely for you to close. Are you asking for the washer and dryer to be left behind or is the sale contingent upon you selling your house? Each part of the offer plays into the negotiation strategy of the seller.

Know what's most important to you and what you can walk away from. Emotions run high during the negotiation process and you want to have a clear plan. Depending on the home and the specific situation, your negotiation strategy will differ.


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