What is an Asking Price?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Images By: Sachin Agarwal, Phrysphotos
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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An asking price or list price refers to the price a seller lists for items he wishes to sell. Most often you hear the term asking or list price as referring to the cost of purchasing a home. List prices may also reference the listed price of purchasing a vehicle. It’s important to realize that an asking price or list price usually is more than a person will reasonably expect to get for something, unless they’re asking or listing low to promote a quick sale. In most cases, asking price is the point at which you begin negotiations and bargaining on the actual sales price.

When the housing market is hot, asking prices increase, and it may be challenging to get a person selling a home to come down in price by much. When a demand for purchasing homes exceeds those available on the market, interested purchasers may even have to exceed the asking price in order to purchase a home. In a stable market, or when the housing market deflates, there is much more bargaining room. A skilled real estate agent or broker can help you determine a reasonable below asking price offer for the home.


This doesn’t always mean that your offer will be accepted, and there is a great deal of finesse in getting the appropriate offer right. If you come in below someone else’s offer, then you likely won’t get the house. On the other hand, if no other offers are on the table, the seller may counter offer with an amount still lower than the list price but higher than your offer. For people trying to work without a real estate agent or broker, it can help to look at sites like Home Price Check to see how close to asking price homes are selling for in the area that you are looking.

You can search this site by neighborhoods and zip codes in order to figure out what a reasonable offer should be. You should also not submit an offer until you have had a thorough home inspection. If the home inspector turns up something relevant that reduces the value of the home, this information can help you lower your offer, and it is then the home seller’s responsibility to disclose any information you find to other potential buyers.

In determining offers on cars at list price, one of the best guides you can use is the Kelley Blue Book, which tells you high and low bluebook price for the car you want. This can be particularly helpful when you’re buying a used car. Offers can be kept in low bluebook range, and should decrease based on higher mileage or anything wrong with the car. Just as with home inspection, it’s a good idea to take any car you’re considering buying to an independent mechanic for a full evaluation of its value. If something has more than 50% wear, like brakes, belts, tires, or others, your offer can be reduced.

When you purchase a vehicle, you may also want to consider what the list price might be in a few years if you plan to sell it. There are certain vehicles that have high resale values and can be priced accordingly. Toyota® cars, for instance, are known for their high resale prices. Knowing whether your car brand is a popular one allows for you to decide on a reasonable list price, and determine the degree to which you have price flexibility in selling your car. As a buyer, being aware of these trends can help you decide how much bargaining flexibility you possess.


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