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Once I find a home that I like, how do I know how much to offer? Buyers should never pay full price, right?

After investing a great deal of time and effort to find the right home, many buyers find themselves paralyzed with indecision when it comes time to make an offer. Buyers commonly dread the thought of buying a home (or any other major purchase), only to wish later that they had waited a little longer or bargained a little harder. On the other hand, many buyers realize that a home good enough to appeal to them will certainly attract other buyers, too. By waiting too long or holding out for too low a price, buyers can very easily lose a house to someone else who is willing to act more quickly. Having a good buyer agent working for you can make a big difference in this situation. Your agent can help you evaluate several major factors that should influence the amount you decide to offer and/or pay. With a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), your agent should be able to show you: How much other similar homes in the area have sold for recently; How long homes in the area typically stay on the market; and The ratio between average list price and average selling price for homes in the area. Additionally, your agent should point out to you any exceptional qualities in the home, which might make it more or less desirable than average. Armed with this information and with advice from your agent, you should feel more comfortable that you will be getting the right home at the right price and terms.

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