How much should I offer?

Posted by Nate Ward on Thursday, June 21st, 2012 at 10:00am.

Generally speaking your offer will be based on a few key factors:

1) The most recent comparable sales.
2) How long the property has been on the market. 
3) How much competition is out there.  For example: Are there multiple offers? Has the seller received a previous offer that wouldn't work for them?
4) Terms: It's not always just about price!  If you can work with the seller on terms such as the closing date, the inspection, a potential rent back etc you may have extra leverage.

If you're a buyer looking to make your offer more attractive without offering more money, you'll need to adjust your terms. Remember, it's not just the offer price that may sway the seller in your direction; well crafted terms may make the difference between losing out on an offer or getting your offer accepted. A final factor to keep in mind is that your offer price needs to be realistic, especially in the highly competitive DC housing market.  Right now, a listing in  Washington DC is selling for an average of 96 percent of its list price.  If you low ball the seller, it's very likely they'll find another potential buyer who is more realistic with their initial offer price.

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