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Price Points

How do I pay the right price for my ideal house?

It may be true that you get what you pay for. But when you’re spending up to several hundred thousand dollars, it’s critical that you be a savvy shopper. Your Tom Faison Group agent can help you make the right offer. With the right provisions. At the right time.

EVALUATE ACTIVITY.

Check to see how quickly houses in “your” neighborhood have sold. Did they meet or exceed asking price? Are houses selling for more or less than their current appraised tax value?

EXAMINE SALES OF SIMILAR RROPERTIES.

One way to gauge price-worthiness is to look at price brought by houses of similar size and condition in the same neighborhood. Remember, you cant compare apples and oranges, and many factors can affect the final price of a home. Everything from lot size to number of baths to kitchen appliances. But assessing comparables will at least tell you if the price is in the right ballpark.

KNOW THE FACTS UP FRONT.

You don’t want surprises after you’ve made an offer. If the market’s hot and you’re afraid of losing your dream house, think about making the sale contingent upon an “all clear” inspection. Get an appraisal to provide a comfort level that the price is fair and justifiable.

DON’T LOWBALL YOURSELF OUT OF A SALE.

After you and your agent have done the homework, make an educated, fair offer for the house. An ambitiously high offer could knock out the competition, but cost you a small—sometimes unnecessary—fortune. A lowball offer could cut you out of the running or set up an atmosphere for unpleasant negotiations. Offer what the house is worth and chances are you’ll get the seller’s undivided attention.

PICK YOUR BATTLES WISELY.

It’s unlikely that both parties will get everything they want at the end of the day. So decide early on what items you’re willing to negotiate away. And what items are “must-have’s.” Chances are you’ll win some and lose some. Contested issues often include who pays how many points. Move in date. Repairs. And “attached” appointments such as premium lighting fixtures. Enter the negotiating process with a give and take attitude and both parties should win.

USE CONTINGENCIES SPARINGLY.

Especially in an active market, contingencies can mean the difference in scoring or losing a home. Buyers will sometimes write in contingencies based on sale of their own home. An attorney’s review of the contract. Uncontestable inspection. Just remember, the simpler, more unencumbered the contract, the more likely you are to close the deal.

THINK TWICE; AVOID REGRETS.

Your first purchase offer should be all-inclusive. After all, if it’s accepted you can’t add anything anyway. So go over—and back over—your offer carefully. Put everything in writing. Stipulate a response window—say, 48 hours. You have a right to cancel your offer only until the seller accepts; afterward, you bid on it, you bought it.