Here are ten important questions you should ask why you should ask them...
- How long has the property been on the market?
Why: The length of time a property has been on the market may indicate the seller's willingness to negotiate.
- Have there been any price reductions during the listing period?
Why: The amount of any price reduction, as it relates to the overall purchase price, may indicate the seller's desire to attract an offer.
- Have there been any other offers on the property?
Why: It will be helpful to know what offers have been turned down and for what reasons.
- What is the motivation of the seller?
Why: Motivation is a key element in any negotiation. As an example, if the seller has already purchased a new property, your ability to close quickly may be an attractive element of the negotiation.
- What personal items are included in the sale?
Why: Anything the seller is willing to leave behind that you won't need to buy when you move in has real value. Consider those items in your offer.
- What is the price range of sold properties in the area?
Why: This information is important since it will indicate the top and bottom of that specific market.
- What is the average time on market for properties in this area?
Why: Short market times may indicate a seller's market. If this is the case you may face competition from other buyers.
- What is the list to sale price ratio in this area?
Why: This information will indicate seller's past willingness to negotiate and by how much.
- What is the average sales price per square foot of recent solds?
Why: This approach to establish value works best in Planned Unit Developments ( PUDs) and/or where there are similar homes, lot sizes and improvements.
- What other known factors about the property or neighborhood could affect value? Why: Review the Seller's Disclosure Statement very carefully with me.
If you will be financing the property, get preapproved for a mortgage prior to making your offer. This will show the seller your commitment and ability to perform. Preapproval can be extremely important in the sellers' market.