Tuesday, November 7, 2017

By: Julie Ryan Evans

One tried and true method for standing out among hordes of eager home buyers is to offer more money than the asking price. It's a tactic that makes sense: When a well-priced house in a great neighborhood goes on the market, you'll need to do something to get the seller's attention. Extra cash could be just the thing to make yours the winning offer.
But before offering more money than the sellers are asking for, buyers should consider several factors, says Michele Lerner, a real estate expert and author of "Homebuying: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time."
“First, you must be completely comfortable with the larger monthly mortgage payments,” Lerner says. “Before you make a higher offer, you need to find out exactly what the financial impact would be."
Additionally, she says, you need to be honest with yourself about how much you want the house.
“Sometimes buyers get caught up in the competition and don’t realize that they’re spending more than they want for a house.”
Disadvantages of offering over asking price
While offering above the listing price can help you outbid the competition, there are also some potentially negative outcomes.
“You could write this crazy high offer, and it turns out you had no competition and could have purchased the home at the original asking price,” says Chantay Bridges, a REALTOR® with Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing in Los Angeles. “And you could be paying more than what it’s really worth.”
How much over asking price should you offer?
If you decide to offer over the asking price, determining just how much over can be challenging.
“There really is no magic formula,” says Rick Snow, a broker with Exit West Realty in El Paso, TX. “It would depend on the market.”
Your real estate agent can help you come up with a competitive offer.
“They are the ones in a position to truly understand the market," says John Powell, chief development officer of Help-U-Sell Real Estate. And the concept of "sweetening the deal" really does take on a different meaning in different regions.
"In Arizona it might be 5% over; in California it may be 10% over asking,” he says.
Sometimes you need to take a big step back and try to see the bigger picture—and it isn't always just about price. One seller, for example, might want a strong buyer who can close escrow quickly above all else. Your real estate agent can help you navigate this, and help you determine the buttons to push in getting your deal accepted.
6 Surprising Benefits Of Buying Or Selling Your Home In The Fall
Seeing fewer for-sale signs now that summer is over? That can be great news for buyers who are looking to score a new home and buyers who want to get rid of their place and buy a new one. If you think you missed the boat on making your move this year, we're here to tell you why buying and selling in the fall can work for you.
Less competition
Yes, there may be fewer homes on the market, but there are also fewer buyers out there competing for the same home you want. That gives buyers an important edge. "Families on a mission to move into a new home before school starts are out of the picture," said Forbes. "Competition for houses drops off in the fall, a time many people consider to be off-season in real estate. But there are still homes for sale - and in some cases, there's just as much inventory as there was during the spring and summer."
The benefit to sellers is that those buyers who are out there tend to be more serious, which means your REALTOR® can key in on the real buyers without having to sift through the riffraff.
Tax breaks
If you're a buyer who closes escrow before December 31, and you may get a nice write off on your taxes. "Property tax and mortgage interest are both deductions you can take for your whole year's worth of income, even if you closed on your home in December," David Hryck, a New York, NY tax adviser, lawyer, and personal finance expert told Realtor.com. "Any payments that are made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible. This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year."
There are also potential tax breaks for home sellers. "You can include all sorts of selling expenses in the cost basis of your house," said The Balance. "Increasing your adjusted cost basis decreases your capital gain because this is what's subtracted from the sales price to determine how much of a gain - or loss in some cases - you've realized. If you have less of a gain, you're more likely to fall within the exclusion limit, and if you're gain isn't excluded, you'll pay taxes on less." And that's just the beginning. Closing costs and home improvements may also be write offs for sellers.
Home for the holidays
Buy or sell early in the fall and you could be nicely situated in your new home in time for the holidays and before winter weather hits. Moving during a calmer time of year also means you may have better access to movers and other necessary resources than during the busier spring and summer seasons.
The right price
Did you list in the spring or summer with an exorbitant number that you thought you'd have no trouble getting because it was a hot market? That's pretty common these days. Whether you've had a revelation about the price you should be asking or have made updates to your home to justify a higher price, you're probably in better shape to get your (realistic) asking price in the fall. If you're a seller and you establish a smart pricing strategy, you could find your home standing out in the crowd and selling while others sit on the market under a blanket of snow.
Buyers also may have a better time getting a home that's within their budget because when there is less competition for homes, there is less chance of bidding wars and over-asking-price sales.
Fall may be safer for buyers and sellers
Here's something you may not have thought of. "Did you know that burglars have peak seasons? They do, Sarah Brown, a home safety expert for SafeWise.com, told Forbes. "July and August are prime months for burglaries to take place. Waiting until the fall [to buy] gives you an advantage when learning about a home and the neighborhood. You'll be settled in your home and can take precautions—like setting up that new alarm system—before the next burglary season rolls around.
For sellers, less competition for your home can be a good thing if it means your home is safer from theft.
Great deals on stuff to fix up your home
Coordinate the timing right, and those items you need to fix up your home for sale in the fall or update and upgrade after a purchase might be priced to your advantage. Check Consumer Reports for a full list of the best times of year to buy everything, and keep in mind holiday and Black Friday sales. You could score some great deals at this time of year.
Written by Jaymi Naciri

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