In most cases, when you buy something, you don’t get to negotiate the price. If you’re buying a refrigerator, for example, you don’t make an offer. You pay whatever the store says it costs. Buying a house works a little bit differently. That’s because, the price a home lists for isn’t necessarily the price it sells for.
Depending on market conditions, buyers may be able to get a house for less than its list price or, at other times, they may have to pay more. That’s particularly true in today’s market. A lower-than-normal number of homes for sale means buyers these days often have to compete with other buyers to get their offer chosen.
Most often, that means paying more than the homeowner’s asking price. But how often should prospective buyers expect to have sweetened their offer to get the home they want? Well, according to one recent analysis, at the end of May, more than half the homes sold were sold above list price. In fact, 51 percent of homes sold for more than their list price, which’s up from just 26 percent last year at the same time. (source)