7 Bad Reasons for Not Offering over Asking Price (Or at Least Full Price!) When Buying a Home

Obviously nobody wants to pay more for a house than they have to, but paying full price or even over the asking price doesn’t necessarily mean you paid too much.

How much a home ultimately sells for is decided by the buyers in the market. Just because a seller lists their house for a certain amount, that doesn’t mean they’ll actually get it! In fact, plenty of sellers list their house for too high of a price and never end up selling their house for the amount they were asking, let alone over their asking price.

On the other hand, when a house is priced appropriately within the market — regardless of whether it’s a sellers’ market or a buyers’ market — there’s a good chance they’ll not only get a full price offer, but they’ll get multiple offers from several buyers in the market, and end up selling their house for more than the asking price.

Unfortunately, some buyers feel like they shouldn’t have to offer full price (or above!), and end up losing houses they love time and time again. While there are certainly times when offering below list price is appropriate, let’s take a look at 7 bad reasons for not offering over asking price (or at least full price!) when buying a home:

1) Because They Should Be Happy Getting the Amount They Asked For

Some buyers feel like the list price should be a ceiling, rather than a place to start the bidding. But if multiple buyers are chomping at the bit for that one particular house, an owner doesn’t need to settle for their asking price.

While they may have been happy to get what they asked for, it’d be asking a lot to expect them not to let the market take its course and just settle for their original list price.

2) Because You Don’t Want to Get into a Bidding War

There probably hasn’t been a buyer in history that wanted to get into a bidding war! But if you want a house badly enough, and there are other interested buyers, you’re going to have your offer compared to theirs.

Don’t look at it as a “war” and just pretend the other buyers don’t exist. Offer an amount you think the house is worth, and would be happy having paid if you get the house. The owner may or may not accept it, but at least you put your best foot forward, and didn’t offer more than you’ll regret.

3) Because the Market “Should” Be Going Down

No matter what the market is like, there are always some buyers feeling like prices should be going down. Home values don’t go up constantly, and there are periods of time when prices come down, but it’s almost impossible to time the market or predict when it’ll occur.

One thing’s for sure, though: even if the market is tanking, a well-priced house can still interest enough buyers to generate multiple offers. If that’s the case with a house you have your eyes on, it doesn’t matter what you think the market “should” be doing.

4) Because Your Parent Told You to Offer 18% Below Asking

It’s fairly common for parents to give their children home buying advice based upon their experience buying one decades ago. Depending on what year, what price range, and what area they bought in, perhaps coming in with an offer a certain percentage below asking worked. But the truth is, it probably didn’t work that well back then either!

5) Because of Some Tips You Saw on the News

The news is a 24-hour business now, and they need to fill the time, so it’s not uncommon for them to air a segment on the current real estate market, throwing in their “expert” tips and advice. Well, unless they have a side hustle as a real estate agent, their insights are more a matter of opinion.

6) Because the House Needs Some Updating

Some houses need a little (or a lot!) of TLC, but that doesn’t mean you can just head over to Home Depot to get an idea of what it’ll cost to renovate the place and subtract that amount off your offer. Even if a house needs work, if there are other buyers interested in the property, there’s a good chance the seller will get list price or above for it.

7) Because Your Psychic Said Not To

It might sound like a joke to someone who doesn’t believe in psychics, but there are certainly buyers who do! Unfortunately for the latter, if you listen to a psychic telling you not to offer asking price or above when it’s warranted, you may end up wondering how they didn’t also see you not successfully getting that offer accepted.

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