Almost Half of People Pay More Than Asking Price for Their Homes—Follow These Tips to Avoid Being One of Them
The steps to buying a house are almost never as straight-forward as aspiring first-time (or second-time) home-buyers might hope. Even once you have the money for a down payment on a house saved up, you have to find a house that fulfills all your needs (and maybe some wants, if you're lucky), maybe sell your current home, and get the sellers of your dream home to accept your offer. According to a new report from personal finance site NerdWallet, this last step isn't always a smooth one.
The 2019 Home Buyer Report from NerdWallet surveyed United States home-buyers who had purchased a home in the past five years and found that almost half—45 percent—had to make an offer that was above asking price in order to get it accepted. First-time home buyers had it even worse; 56 percent of them had to go above the asking price in order to get their offers accepted, and for 15 percent of them, their final offer was higher than they were comfortable with. Overall, only 31 percent of recent home buyers were able to purchase their homes for less than the asking price.
When buying a home is already so costly, the prospect of forking over even more cash can be off-putting. It can also land home-buyers, first-timers or otherwise, in some hot water when mortgage payments, taxes, fees, and more stretch their budgets a touch too thin. Fortunately, there are ways to get home sellers to lower their asking price or even accept a below-ask bid—it just takes some preparation, determination, and luck.
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Of course, on average, most people must make several offers (often, on different properties) before one of their bids is accepted. According to NerdWallet's study, 60 percent of recent home buyers in the U.S. made more than one offer during their home-shopping process; more than one-third made three or more. If your first offer on a home isn't accepted, you're certainly not alone.
With these tips from Holden Lewis, home expert at NerdWallet, your first offer on that dream home might have a fighting chance, though—even if it is a little under the list price.