Saturday, September 18, 2010


Here's the latest:

We put in our offer Thursday afternoon.

Asking Price: $250,000

Our Offer: $220,000 with seller paying $7,000 towards closing costs

Seller's Counter-Offer: $238,500 with seller paying $7,000 towards closing costs

So, we will probably go back with our best offer at this point, but will wait until Monday morning to do so. Our best offer (though I have to speak with DH again about how much we're really willing to go up to if they absolutely refuse to budge past a certain point) is going to be $227,500. We'll ask for $7,000 in closing costs, but if they counter us back with agreeing to the price but not the closing costs, I will be happy with that. I'm also going to ask for the antique piano in the basement with the next counter offer.

$227,500 is 91% of the asking price, and the mode selling price percentage of the asking price of all recently sold comparables was 91%. Additionally, the median sales price for all comps sold in the area in the past 6 months is $222,000.
I think $227,500 is fair. I hope the sellers agree :)

We are unsure about the next step to take after that, though. If they counter us again at above $227,500, at what point will we say we are sticking to $227,500? Obviously everyone says that you should not get emotionally involved when bidding on a house, but how can you not? We do really want it, and originally even said we would be willing to pay full asking price for it. But our mortgage is only for so much, and anything above that would be out of pocket costs.

Where would you draw the line for a dream home? Would you stand firm at your pre-figured "best offer," or would you shell out a few more thousand, or would you go above and beyond, or what? Everything I've read says we have a great shot of getting it for our best offer, especially in a buyer's market when seller's motivation is high (they are just paying $10,183 in annual taxes in a home none of them live in!). Yeah, did I mention the taxes are steep? That's the beauty of New Jersey.

Should we chance it and stick firm to our best offer?? (Or maybe we won't have to and they'll accept our first counter-offer... but I doubt it.)


Meg @ True, Good and Beautiful said...

This is exciting! I would stand firm on the price. It just seems like they are really motivated. If they come back with another counter, I think they are probably just trying to squeek a little bit more out of you, but I doubt they'd be willing to lose the sale over it.

And get that piano! :)

... said...

Well, you know what I am going to say since I walked away over $2,000 (seller eventually budged), but I would stick firm on your price that you think is fair. That would be different if you were in a bidding war or you got wind that someone else was putting an offer in, but as is, I think you should dig in your heels.

The Comeaus said...

I don't know too much about this, but I agree that you should stick to your guns. It doesn't sound like there's a whole lot of interest in the house, and your offer seems to be so fair. It's great to see you invest your energy into this! It's exciting!


Megan said...

I think you should stick to your guns as well. If you walk away, they may have a change of heart. Also, since this is an old house you never know what kind of issues you might find during the inspection. (or did your father in law already say he thought it looked good?) It would be nice to have the knowledge that you have the wiggle room in case you need a new a/c, furnace, or roof etc.
So excited for you!! :)

T said...

Sounds like you guys really did your homework! Your offer sounds very reasonable to me.
I'll say a prayer to St. Joseph that you'll get the house (and perhaps even the piano? ;)

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

Oh man....buying a house is so stressful!... When we bought ours, we ended up paying MORE than the asking price so that the sellers would help pay some closing costs! Ridiculous, I know!!! We were just so ready to be done with it...and they apparently had 3 other buyers "waiting" (or so the realtor said........)
If you got the house for $20,000 under the listing price plus the seller paid closing costs, I think that'd be amazing! I agree that if there aren't other buyers interested or if the house has been on the market a while, stick to your guns.
I think we got jipped ;)and we had to pay to fix several things after that, too... so I wouldn't want you to feel that way!
I hope it all works out perfectly! And how cool would it be to have the piano?!

Jodi said...

So excited for you Ames! Our house here in NE was $165,000 and our taxes are $5,000 a year and I thought that was high! I really hope you guys can get into the house with your best offer!

JellyBelly said...

I'd stick to your guns, although I'd have a hard time believing that they're not going to budge.

I'm praying for you!!!

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May God guide you to the Light..

[email protected] said...

Everyone seems to have great advice! I will keep praying!! On pins and needles!

Jeremiah 29:11 said...

Good luck with everything!!

barbie said...

sounds like they are willing to come down, I hope they accept your offer and YIKES the taxes are NUTS! :) I can't wait to hear that it's YOURS!

mrsblondies said...

I definitely agree you should stick with the upper limit that you and your DH have already decided on. So exciting! I hope you get the piano too.

Suzie-Q T-Pie said...

I agree stick to your guns on this one. You put in a reasonable offer... ~good luck and prayers for this to happen for you~ ! :)

Anonymous said...

Good luck! I hope they accept your counter-counter offer :). I think it sounds reasonable to me, and even as someone who would CRY if we got an offer $20,000 under our asking price, I think you should stick to the price you're comfortable paying.

Cecilia said...

I think you should stick with your offer, just b/c in this market you'd be doing yourself a disservice to go up too much (unless you think it's already adequately priced to reflect the down market). But this house is the one that needed work, and a few thousand dollars goes a long way toward all those projects. Of course, if it's really your dream house, you'll have to go with what you feel (I agree - it's hard not to get emotionally involved!) even if it means paying the extra to get what you want b/c down the line a few thousand will be nothing in the scheme of things.

the misfit said...

Gosh! I didn't think there were usually *that* many rounds of offers and counter-offers unless crazy-expensive properties were involved. I think their first counter is good in the sense that they've made a genuine move, so that's a good sign. If you're willing to relinquish the $7k in seller help, that makes a big difference too. Why not stick to your guns? It's not like they have other offers on the table! (And - property taxes are FIVE PERCENT?! That's INSANE. They're 1.15% in MD and VA, and that's supposed to be HIGH.)

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Yeah, I know, it's insane. They're not a specific percent across the board, though, in NJ. I think it's based somehow on tax appraisal. This home is a couple thousand more in taxes than the other home just 2 blocks away. And don't even ask me what they are on the homes in the town where we live now!! (We live in Snooty-McRicheyville.) NJ's known to have the highest property taxes in the country. Awesome.

Thankful said...

I love the research you have done - stick to your guns! :)

LifeHopes said...

Well for what its worth, we were in a VERY similar situation in the purchase of our current home. We had fallen in love with this house and ended up haggling with seller to the point of possibly "losing it" over a few thousand dollars. But the seller was being very greedy and was not coming down at all from listing price because it was so "competitively priced." (in reality it WAS competitively priced but who doesn't come off their listing price AT ALL?)

The fact that he was being such a jerk just ticked me off so I just said "Forget it!"

You know what happened? We walked away over -- yes, 2 thousand dollars. (he had already agreed to pay closing costs so we were talking about the actual price of the home). I actually felt good we had stuck to our guns even though the house "got away." Then, a few days later, his agent called our agent and told us he'd caved. We got the house without compromising!

I say stick to your guns:) Praying for you!!!