Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to questions I get asked all the time. Of course, every situation is slightly different. Feel free to call me directly if you have a specific question or would like an individual consultation at 541.410.3645.
Does it cost the buyer anything to hire a Realtor?
No. If the property is listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the seller has signed a contract with the seller's agent to pay a commission of 5-6% (in most cases). That amount is split between the seller's agent and the buyer's agent.
Should I offer full price?
Bidding below listing price
Bidding for a property below its asking price is very common during a buyer’s market. A buyer’s market occurs when there’s a surplus of homes on the market relative to demand from sellers.
I always consider the number of days on market and the comparative analysis of other homes in the area. If the number of days on market (DOM) is high, and the comps are lower than the seller's current asking price, a lower offer is strongly recommended. Sometimes we can sweeten a relatively low offer price by finding out what the hot buttons are for the seller. Does the seller want to stay in the house until a certain date? Does the seller need to move quickly to accommodate his/her own deadlines? We can also consider accepting the present state of the home without demanding free upgrades and repairs in order to get a lower bid accepted by the seller. The key to getting your offer accepted is asking questions and working together for a win-win situation for all. If you don't ask, you won't know how to create an optimal situation for everyone.
Highest and best offer
Sometimes, especially when dealing with multiple offers, sellers or their agents get restless during negotiations and ask you to quote them your highest and best offer for the home, meaning it’s a take it or leave it contract and there won’t be a counteroffer. This can be stressful for a buyer and I've found that many of my buyers don't like to play in that environment. It's definitely difficult to get "the best deal" when this is the strategy. However, if you are 100% confident that this is the house for you, then an aggressive offer is recommended. I always ask my clients, "What is the number that you won't regret paying for this property later?"
Full price offers
There’s no shame in agreeing to pay the seller’s full asking price without bartering. If the home you want is worth its price tag, offer to pay the full asking price. Another buyer may show up five minutes after you eager to pay that difference, sending you back to your search for a perfect home.
Do I need a pre-approval letter from a lender?
Yes. In today's market, your offer will not be viewed as valid without a letter from a professional lender stating that you are qualified to purchase this home at the price you are offering. Usually the pre-qualification process involves you having a brief, but thorough conversation with a lender of your choice to discuss your financial picture. You won't need to formally apply for the loan until your offer has been accepted. Ask me for some recommendations if you are looking for a great lender. I know some good ones!
Can I talk directly to the seller's agent?
I generally recommend that you get your questions answered through your own representative. The initial stages of negotiation can be tricky and there are often ways that you can prevent a successful transaction if you show too many of your cards to the other party. The bottom line is that it's truly up to you and how you want to handle it. Most of my clients prefer that I interact with the seller's agent on their behalf.