In a nutshell:
Your first offer should be your best offer that's high enough to include you in the round of counter-offers.
Finding the right price:
If your offer is too low, it won’t merit consideration and may even insult the seller. If it’s too high, you may incur more debt than you expected.
- Look at factors surrounding the listing. If it's been around for a long time, there are likely few competing buyers.
- Find out the average sale price of similar homes in the area, and whether they close at asking price or above.
- The best way to create a price estimate for a home is to look at recent, similar & nearby home sales. These are called comps (short for comparable sales). The Open Listings comps tool makes it simple to price any listing.
To see what impact an increase in your offer will have on your monthly payments, run the numbers through an online mortgage calculator.
- On a typical 30-year mortgage for a $500,000 house financed at 3.9%, if you increase your offer by $10,000 it adds only $48 a month to your mortgage payment.
- In a healthy budget, a mortgage payment should not consume more than 28% of the homeowner’s gross income.