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Buyer’s often ask the question “What should I offer?” before they find a specific house that they want to place an offer on. They want to know the formula for the list price verses the actual purchase price that they will pay. They ask questions like “If we shop in the $400,000 range, what price do you think we can get it for?” I always respond the same. It depends on the house and if it is priced correctly. How long has the house been on the market at this price? This is a more important question than, “How long has the house been on the market?”

Home owners don’t have to price their home correctly, they just won’t sell their house until they do. Maybe we should just call them “Listers”. Unlike sellers, “Listers” waste an agents time and inflate the price’s of other “Listers”.

Question’s that I ask a home owner that says they want to sell is “Do you want to list your home, or sell it?” Do you want to be a lister or a seller? When do you want me to start telling you the truth?

Once I have explained to a buyer that selling prices are set by the market and not the sellers or their agent, I will let them know that sellers and their agents will list property (incorrectly) based upon other criteria. They will list based upon the debt on the property, what they paid, the improvements that they have done, the amount that their neighbor (a lister) has listed at, what they need or want to have to be able to fulfill their future plans etc. This is a mistake that will cost the Listers money in the long run, if they ever sell.

Keep in mind that a lister is in charge of what price they will ask, but the buyer will decide how much the house will sell for. Listers are different than sellers, because they don’t need to sell.

We have a lot of Listers in our current market. With 911 homes on the market and only 56 closings in the past 30 days, it appears that we have about 6% sellers and 94% Lister’s.

One thing is for sure, you can sell your house if you are willing to price it correctly.

So, back to the question, “What should I offer?”

Once you have found that house you want to buy, the question really is, what is the current market value?

  • Spend time looking at homes in the area that you want to buy.
  • Have your agent show you recent comparable sales.
  • Be reasonable based upon the information that you have collected.
  • Ask your agent their opinion.
  • Have your agent contact the seller/Lister’s agent to see if there has been any activity previously that will help understand the seller’s motivation.

Please call me if you are a seller or a buyer……….

Steve Hirschler

Associate, The Tim Wood Group

Coldwell Banker Mountain Gallery

42153 Big Bear Blvd.

P.O. BOX 6820

Big Bear Lake, CA 92315


909 866-3481 EXT. 217 CELL 909 725-5889

Fax 909 866-3531


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