(Closed) Home Buying Tips?

posted 9 years ago in Home
Post # 3
2538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

1. I think the low-ballness depends on overall percentage, not a dollar amount.  But I lean more toward 10k than 20…  This is the one part that an agent would be helpful for…  Has the house been reduced?  By how much? How recently?

2. Yes.  DH has bought all of his houses (3) without an agent.  You just need to read carefully.  I’m not sure if he used a lawyer.

3. The commission is split between agents so the seller should get 3% like normal but you keep the other 3.

4. Home Inspection. Home Inspection. Home Inspection.  Check out the company and make sure it’s independent (of the selling agents).

Good luck…so exciting!

If you haven’t watched Property Virgins on HGTV, you totally should before you put in the offer.  Sandra is fantastic!  It’s true that everything is about the market and the area, so offer what is fair for that.

Post # 5
19 posts

1. This is the kind of thing an agent can help you with, especially with people that haven’t sold their home in a year, I would assume they are VERY rigid and probably aren’t going to go down as much.

2. I wouldn’t recommend.  Even if you get the buyer’s agent to represent you they will be working in your best interest.  Also they will be communicating to your lender on your behalf.

3. I have only bought homes through realtors and actually my boyfriend’s father is a realtor and half of his time is spent working out problems with lending, contracts etc.

4. Nope πŸ™‚


Post # 6
5789 posts
Bee Keeper

It doesn’t matter if its insulting to the seller. They have the choice to negotiate or turn it down. I’m the one who said to not make it emotional,so if a seller really wants to sell, they’d be foolish to turn down ANY offers in a buyer’s market. Many people feel their property is worth way more than it really is, and fail to look at it through a buyer’s eyes. Conversely….just because you think it needs thousands of dollars in upgrades doesn’t mean it really does. You may want to change things according to your particular taste, but that isn’t something the seller is even thinking about. Cosmetics are easy to fix, but location and structure are not.

A house is only ‘worth’ what somebody is willing to pay for it.

We had a lawyer to represent us at closing to go over all the paperwork, but he had nothing to do with the negotiations or purchase. I’m not sure what you mean by getting a lawyer……one who will show you properties? I’ve never heard of that before, but maybe I’m wrong.

Depending on where you live, most realtors have a set commission. Sometimes its negotiable, but I’ve never had one willing to lower theirs to accommodate us. If the sales commission is 6% and it is their listing, that’s what they get. If the listing is sold by another agent, that’s when the commission gets split….between agents but not between agent and buyer/seller. I suppose anything is negotiable,tho,and you can only ask.

With regard to the home inspection-please realize that a 2-4 hour inspection is just a cursory evaluation of a property, as it would be impossible to know exactly what is wrong in a house without spending more time in it. They will mostly find any major issues, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be faced with some minor ones down the road. Once you accept the findings and renegotiate with the seller, the day after settlement if anything goes wrong, you are on your own. Seller disclosure is the law, but many will say it wasn’t a problem while they lived there, thereby ruining your chances at recovering anything. You might want to ask the sellers to purchase a One Year Home Warranty for you for your piece of mind. They cost around $400. and will cover many repairs should you need them. 

Post # 7
2231 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m speaking mostly in terms of what happens up here in the great white north but it’s mostly the same… btw I am a registered realtor. 

1. What you offer is totally dependent on your market. Here where I am 20k below asking will not even be looked at because we’re in a seller’s market. This is where a realtor will help you determine what a good offer would look like. You need to look at sold comparable listings to really determine what a good offer is. 

2. No. Simply put your lawyer is just going to look over the paperwork and say it looks good. A realtor will go into the house with you and point out things that they see in person or other things about the house that cannot be conveyed through a contract. Do you think you know how to spot a grow op? (not saying this about your house but as an example) 

3. When a seller has a realtor the realtor is charging let’s say 6%, of that 3% goes to that realtor while the other 3% goes to the co-operating brokerage (buyer’s agent). If there is or isn’t a co-operating brokerage won’t make a difference. Most likely the sellers will see that as a 3% saved for them before they’re willing to concede that to you in the selling price (again, we’re in a seller’s market here). 

4. Inspection. Get a realtor. It’s totally fine that you don’t want to use one but consider this: Realtors take on all risk and liability for you. They act as your representative in this massive transaction and one of their main goals is to make sure that you’re happy, which means knowing everything there is to know about a house. If you’re not buying and selling homes every day there is a huge chance that you will overlook some things that a realtor will catch. 

Also, a tax assessment has nothing to do with property value. A tax assessment is used only to calculate your property taxes. 


Good luck!

Post # 8
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I don’t know what type of market you are in where you are, but damn near every where else nothing is moving.  Most of the loans being made are government backed, and the loan amounts are set to adjust lower.  That means that in expensive coastal markets, either people are going to buy their way into the loan amounts with substantially larger down payments (which I highly doubt), or there will be downward pressure on prices. 

Any reason you aren’t considering asking for closing costs? One trick is that if they won’t come down to 20K, they may be able to cover closing or buy points for you.  You end up with close to the equivelant, they get their “higher price.”  Of course, you do end up with a higher loan amount, but you could shift that money you would have put toward closing toward a larger down and negate the difference.

@smyley Good point on taste.  I remember when everyone had an “ugly house” with old carpet, the hideous kitchen, and many things that functioned fine but were not to everyone’s taste!  I don’t think anyone doesn’t feel they need to gut and fix as soon as they move in.  It’s great if you can afford it, otherwise change the things you must and put the rest in a college fund. You often find after living in a house six months that you change your mind about what you want to change and how.

Good luck!


Post # 9
1479 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We’re working with an agent, so I’m not sure about your other questions; but regarding your asking price I do have a few suggestions.

A home’s value is dictated by the real estate market in your area.  That’s it.  We are selling our condo for 10K under what DH paid for it 6 years ago, and this is after we put 12K into remodeling it last year.  Do I think our condo is “worth” more?  Yes.  Does our real estate market agree with me?  No, it does not, because the condo market in Seattle is crappy right now for sellers.

Take a look at comps in the area.  You should be able to look up homes that are comperable in size, square footage, etc that have sold recently.  If they are listed at 20K under the asking price of your house, then you have some ammunition to go into negotiations with.  If the asking price of the house is pretty close to what other comps have sold at in the area, then it’s pretty ridiculous to go in 20K under the asking price.  Negotiating is one thing; but you want to make sure you’re making an educated offer, not just a “I don’t want to pay what you want me to pay” type of offer.

Also, have a number in mind when you start negotating with a seller.  Know when you’re going to walk away before you get into negotiations.  Negotations for a house that you love can get emotional no matter how mature you try to be about it; sometimes you DO have to walk away because it just doesn’t work out.


Post # 11
352 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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@JaneyD:I love that show!!! She is my favorite πŸ˜€

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