Monday, November 5, 2007

Looking to buy something listed a bit over my budget...

This morning, a customer posed this question:

After a couple of weeks of searching, I have just found a stunning condo right in downtown Chicago. It seems to be priced correctly, but has been on the market since mid-July, and the seller has yet to lower the original list price. How agressive can my offer be if I hope to stay within reason?

Right now, you're in the driver's seat. A seller should be extremely grateful if you were to formulate a reasonable offer on their property. A reasonable offer is one that takes into consideration comparable sales information as well as a thoughtful presentation of your ideas on other market considerations.

For example, in my in-box this morning was an update from Bank of America with the results of its monthly survey of real estate agents in major markets. Here in Chicago, buyer traffic remained very weak for the month of October. Agents say that sellers have become a bit more realistic, but prices have not dropped far enough to entice buyers.

You could frame your argument around the fact that it has become obvious that buyers are clearly aware that prices are continuing to fall and are postponing decisions accordingly. Striking a deal with you now could be a positive alternative to waiting for several more months and some severe price reductions.

Other statistics from today's report: Nationally, the supply of inventory is just about to pass 10.5 months worth of supply. Here in Chicago, the numbers are nearly identical as more and more inventory comes on the market with very few contracts being written.

If you are at all hesitant about negotiating so aggressively for your new home, you definitely should employ the services of an experienced agent. An agent will be able to present your case in a factual and non-threatening fashion while getting the point across that selling to you today will be far better than selling at a discount six months from now.