Ask the Expert

Is the 'list price' on a property negotiable?

A list price is never ironclad.  A seller is not obligated to sell at the list price even if someone wants to pay it.  The final home sales price is usually different from the list price.
	If the seller wants to sell and the buyer wants to buy, the price is almost always negotiable. On the other hand, sometimes nothing is.  If that seems contradictory, remember that everything depends on circumstances: How many buyers there are in the market; how many sellers there are; the motivation of the seller; the desires of the buyer.
	Obviously, in hot markets where houses rarely stay on the market for a month, sellers will be much less likely to negotiate.  They usually don't have to negotiate.  After all, they think there will be another buyer coming around soon.
	On the other hand, in normal times, sellers who have to change jobs or buy a bigger house might have to get a buyer quickly. In those situations, sellers might be willing to negotiate the price of their house.
	But there is always the issue of whether the negotiation is a good deal. That's why sellers need an experienced real estate agent.  The agent can do a market comparison of properties in the area.  This helps to give the seller a good idea of whether a buyer's offer is reasonable or not.
	Agents will also have experience with the dozens of factors that can change the terms of a deal. Some of these factors include: The amount of cash the buyer puts down; the terms of the loan; the appraisal of the property versus the price the buyer wants to pay.  
	Every negotiation to buy a house is unique and is a result of buyer and seller coming together to agree on the property. If you see a house that you love, but it seems to be a bit out of your price range, don't hesitate to ask your agent about it. You can always make an offer and, who knows?...You might end up with the home of your dreams at a dream price!