Even though it is very much winter in Teton Valley, our market is quite active. We are used to seeing buyers drop off a bit after the first of the year, but there are still lots of enquirires. I attribute that to the great buys out there.
Let's talk a minute about offers. When clients settle on a property that they want to make an offer on, they offen ask for advice as to what to offer. I avoid giving an exact amount, but I can guide. In many markets around the country we are seeing extremely lowball offers. However, in Teton Valley our closing prices are currenlty 92.3% of listing price. They have hovered around that average for over a year now. (Other markets may see 20-30% below list.) Of course, we have seen the few properties that have closed at substantially less than the list price, but they are few and far between. In my experience, you risk alienating the seller with offers that are insultingly low. It's my job to assist a buyer in making the best offer in each circumstance.
Offers in respect to REO (bank owned) listings could possibly handle a lowball first offer, but keep in mind that there are people, not buildings, on the other end of those offers. Asset managers, those people to whom we present the REO offers, are real people. They, in most cases, have a fair idea of the property's value and instructions as to how low they can go to accept offers. If the bank chooses to counter a lowball offer back, it will most likely give you an idea of their position. The idea is to not go so low that the bank does not even give a counter offer, they just reject the offer outright.
Offers on short sale properties should, in most cases, be fairly close to the listing price. Most agents price a short sale listing near where they think they can negotiate a short payoff with the seller's lender. Short sales can be long and drawn out. However, that is changing. We just had a short sale approved in 30 days! Certainly a record in our office.
Offers on private seller owned properties will vary quite a bit. Many times, we as realtors, will have a feel for the seller's situation and, again, can guide the buyer on making an offer.
If you have questions on offers, just let me know. :)