Making an offer on a home requires researching beyond what the seller’s agent has provided you. Offers to purchase should be based on facts (and a realistic assessment of them). The seller has been equipped by their agent with all of the information required to establish a sales price, but sometimes the seller will ignore their agent’s advice. While it is generally acceptable to negotiate price, you will be more compelling and effective if you have done your homework before asking for a deal.
A fair price can be determined by the purchaser using several means available to them.
Often called comps, the comparables are the homes like the home you want to buy that have sold recently or that are on the market currently in the same neighborhood. The MLS is a great source for this information. A comp is a valuable pricing tool if it is truly comparable to the house for sale. This means: same amount of square footage, same number of bedrooms, comparable yard and basement condition, and similar overall condition of the home. A home that has sold recently in superb condition with many extras and a remodeled kitchen would set the benchmark for value.
Sales made without a realtor involved require a little more work to get the selling price, but you will likely be successful if you visit the county real estate recorder’s office. The county recorder’s office may be able to provide you with an internet site where you can look-up all of the recent real estate transactions in the neighborhood.