Finally!!! After searching and viewing multiple houses straight from work, on weekends, joy rides around specific neighborhood and looking for open houses; you found you’re “DREAM HOUSE”.  THIS IS IT!! You’re so excited and asked the Realtor ® to submit an offer. Wait, how much will be my offer?  Is it too much or too low?  Oh Lord, now you are confused and stressed out.
I always tell my clients, buying a home should be a pleasing and rewarding experience.  It should not be like a battlefield where you don’t trust anybody and feels like fighting from the numbers and all parties involved.  That’s why you have a Realtor ® and trusted lender to walk you through the process.  Leave the stress and worries to them.  They are professionals and know how to deal with these situations.  What I always do before I suggest an offer price to my clients; I orient them with the factors to consider before putting those numbers on the paper.  In this case both of you are all in the same page on the journey until you come up with an agreed amount.  These are the factors I encourage them to look at:
  1.       Days in the Market – the longer the property is on the market, the better chances of sellers accept a lower offer.  Sellers might need to move as soon as possible, retiring to another place and for whatever reasons, the urgency is already there.  Sometimes you can see the price has been reduced since it was listed; meaning they need to sell!!
  2.       Fair Market Value – looking at the activity for the last… let’s say for example 120 days.  How many homes were Sold, Active and Under Contract in the same neighborhood?  How much is the average price?  Compare apples to apples as same square footage, same lay out, number of rooms, bathrooms etc. 
  3.       Condition of the House and add ons -  Let say a property in the same neighborhood has been recently sold for $300,000 and it was renovated, with all the upgrades as in granite kitchen counters and stainless steel appliances and so on.  They also built a deck as add on.  Then you can do the math with estimates that no way other homes with original fixtures will cost the same. 
  4.       Look at the Details – these are expensive future replacements just in case.  Windows, roof, furnace, outdated kitchen and bathrooms.  Once you see a property with original fixtures in there, calculate the costs for renovations, hassles of house under repair, something might just not working properly and the list goes on.

Once you agreed on the offer amount, you have to make sure to justify your offer as have been pointed out above except days in the market (you know why).  Be gentle with the sellers as you don’t want to bring all the cons of the house to the point that they may ask you “why are you buying the house in the first place if it is bad?  You have to make sure sellers understand that you have a basis on your offer and you did not just throw numbers out there.

Of course there are other factors and exceptions as to the law of supply and demands.  Bottom line is you can do more research as to market conditions in a particular area so you know where you stand.  Explore information with your fingertips.  Be a smart and well informed buyer.  Work like a partner with your Realtor ® as they are your best friends during this process.  

Note:  Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. Top Producer of Fairfax Realty and earning Five-Star Reviews from her clients. She earned a designation of ASP, Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, (SFR) Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. For more info, visit her website at and on Facebook  Call her at 571-432-8335 or email at  for free confidential consultations. 


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