What is an Acceptable Low Offer on a House?

What is an Acceptable Low Offer on a House? – Question from Skylar in MA: Hi Brian, I’m feeling lucky because the real estate agent that I talked to today says that home prices in the Springfield, Massachusetts area have gone down a little compared to last year. This is happening at the same time my loan application was pre-approved. I’m not happy about the interest rate but I am feeling a lot more confident about being able to buy a house than I was a month ago. In fact, after learning house prices have gotten a little lower, I’m rethinking my strategy. With everything that I’ve read, I thought I’d be heading into multiple bidding wars and have to pay above the asking price. Now, I’m thinking that when I find a house that I want, I should make an offer below the asking price. This is an entirely new thought for me. How low of an offer do think might be acceptable? The houses that I’m looking at are listed slightly above $200K.

Answer: Hello Skylar. There is not a universal or even general answer to your question about how low of an offer is likely to be accepted. This type of situation depends on what is happening in your local area. I suggest you have a detailed conversation with your agent including asking for assistance determining what a reasonable first offer should be (after you find a house that you want to buy). What I can do is give you some general thoughts about the subject of purchase offers below the asking price. This should help you have a more productive and informative conversation with your agent.

Skylar, it does sound like you understand that your local market might be shifting from a seller’s market towards a buyer’s market as indicated by falling house prices.

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