Mythbusters: “I can get you a great deal.”

If you’ve ever heard a realtor tell you that they can get you a deal on a good home, let me go ahead and break the news: you’ve been lied to. In the world of buying and selling real property, there are so many complicated pieces that play into what kind of “deal” you are on the end of as a buyer or a seller, that it’s nearly unethical to tell a client that you can get them the better end of the deal. Here are just a few major factors at play in how much wiggle room you have in selling or buying a home.

The Market Climate

Supply and demand is the age old driving force in pricing and negotiation. Today’s market as you may have heard is a seller’s market. Even though that won’t last forever, it’s rocky seas out there for buyers. Many people have their offers on homes get rejected even when they do put their best foot forward. We as agents are seeing many cash offers, offers that are 20% higher than what the asking price is, and the rejection of perfectly good offers because of minute differences. If you’re looking in the 300,000 range and below, chances are you may encounter this struggle to some degree. If you’re a seller, this is a good season for you because with the right tools it’s likely that you will get top dollar for your home. However, price gougers beware, because even in this market, overpriced listings still sit instead of sell. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, if your agent knows what they’re doing, they will have prepared you for whatever the ever-changing market climate may be.

The Situation

I know it stinks to hear “well it depends on the situation”, but it’s true. Every home is in a different condition, and every seller has different reasons for selling. The situation also varies depending on what price range you’re in. If the seller is extremely “motivated” to sell for whatever reason, chances are there is a little more wiggle room on both sides to get the home under contract. Every home is different, and every individual has different reasons for buying and selling, so one transaction is never the same. That’s one of the best parts of my job as your agent, that it is continually exciting and new and there’s always something to learn.

The Negotiation

Different factors give you more negotiating room, and as with any situation, negotiation requires some skill and tactfulness. You do want an agent with good negotiation skills, but you have to know your limit and your own bottom line. It is your transaction, so the decisions in the purchase belong to you. A good agent will be able to guide you in identifying your limits, and then working from there on putting in an offer or listing your house at the right price.

You’re not buying a pair of shoes here, so if a realtor comes to you like a snake oil salesman telling you how they can get you the best deal in town, beware. You want an agent who will be honest with you about the market and where your buying or selling leverage falls within it. This is one of the biggest transactions you will ever make in your lifetime: if you had to have brain surgery, would your priority be to find the discount surgeon who can do the job for the cheapest? Hopefully not! You’d want a reputable, honest, and skillful professional to do the job, and you deserve the same with making the monumental life change of buying or selling a home.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions on how you can get a fair price on a home in today’s market, and what experiences you’ve had with realtors working with you on the price of a home!

From my home to yours,

Mary Allison