What does a price reduction mean from a home buyer's perspective?

loving couple looking at their home

Dear Dave,

We are actively shopping for a home. We have been looking for about 3 months now and just haven't found the right place for us. As we keep looking, we have noticed the price drop on a couple of the houses that we have looked at. What do you think it means if a house drops $10,000 in price? Would now be the time to go in and make an even lower offer on the house? Is it worth it to settle on a house that might not be exactly what we want, if we can get it for a really good deal?

There sure is a lot to consider when deciding to buy a house! Thanks for any feedback you could give us.

Jack and Stephanie, Grand Junction, CO


Jack and Stephanie,

Shopping for a home can be painstaking sometimes and requires the patience of Job to find just the right home. It is great that you can afford to be patient and have the time to really look, however, sometimes you can start to overthink things and get caught up in a vicious cycle of “It’s just not quite right." Be careful not to get so caught up in finding the “perfect” house that you miss out on the “perfect” home! There is a significant difference between a house and a home.

Searching for any home is a process of give and take and I would say that there is never a “perfect” house, but there are “perfect” homes!! There will be sacrifices and knowing that everything will not be perfect from a house perspective might help open up some avenues to finding your perfect home. In some price ranges, mainly over $400,000 in our market, you can see price reductions as there is a bit more inventory in those upper price points. In the price ranges under $400,000, our market is still moving quite brisk. 

Many times buyers interpret that a price reduction means a seller is desperate or there is a problem with the house. That is sometimes true, but typically it simply means that the seller is listening to what the market is saying.
Small cute craftsman American house wth green and white.

Many times buyers interpret that a price reduction means a seller is desperate or there is a problem with the house. That is sometimes true, but typically it simply means that the seller is listening to what the market is saying. I say it all the time, selling real estate is not rocket science! If a home is for sale and it is getting showings and no offers, the price is likely too high. If a home is for sale and is getting no showings either the marketing is bad or the price is too high. I will not get into all the reasons the price may be too high, as there are too many to list, but it is safe to say that if a house is a good deal there will always be someone there to buy it. Almost regardless of the market conditions. Price reductions are generally a sign that a seller is listening to what the market is saying, nothing more.

After a price reduction is a great time to make an offer, as generally price reductions open the door to a new pool of buyers and generate increased activity. Ultimately, when priced right, conditioned right and marketed right, any house will sell and being the first to make the offer increases your chances of getting it. After a price reduction, you may be met with some seller reluctance to reduce even further, however, if you don’t try you won’t know. Make the offer and see what happens. The worse that can happen is they say no. 

Your last question is a good one, should you settle if the deal is good enough? I always say that the house does not make the family, the family makes the house a home! If this is true then it does not matter in what or where you live. I am aware this is being overly simplistic so before you settle you have to ask yourself, “Can we truly be happy and at peace in this home?” If the answer is yes, then go for the good deal and you won’t look back. If the answer is no or I am not sure, then no deal is good enough or worth the risk! There is a lot to consider and it sounds like you are asking all the right questions. I bet you find the “right” home soon! 

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team

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