Waste no time on over-priced homes

Haggling with a seller to accept a market-related offer for his over-priced house is just a waste of time.
Martin Schultheiss, CEO of Harcourts Africa, says serious buyers can better employ their time and efforts by establishing the going rate for homes in their chosen area and then limiting their search to suitable properties.
“Buyers may be tempted to think they can convince sellers to adjust asking prices by opening negotiations with low offers. But a seller with unrealistic expectations may be hard to sway. Buyers should also keep in mind that homeowners who want to ‘test’ the market may set a high price in order to see how much prospective buyers will offer even though they actually have no intention of selling.
“Serious buyers are advised to approach local estate agents in their target area to establish what sale prices are currently being achieved. This is easily done through a comparative market analysis,” says Schultheiss.
“All this, however, does not mean that buyers should not ever be prepared to negotiate on price. Some circumstances may indeed indicate opportunities to offer a lower price. If, for instance, a seller is in a hurry to sell, buyers who can offer cash or who have done their homework and have pre-arranged finance may find the seller willing to accept a slightly lower offer in turn for quickly clinching the deal.
“Equally, it is reasonable to put in a lower offer on properties that need a little attention, to offset the cost of renovations.”
On the other hand, he says, buyers should be wary of haggling for the sake of it. “You should not waste time if you find a suitable property with a reasonable price. If you regard it as a good buy the odds are that other buyers will too – especially in the current very price-conscious market - and they may beat you to the draw while you’re still trying to snip a few rand off the asking price.”

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