Negotiating the transaction is usually the most complex aspect of buying a home. It’s the part of the process can involves the most creativity. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced and savvy Buyer’s Agent who has successfully worked through many different transaction scenarios.
In order to successfully negotiate a good deal, you should present yourself as a serious buyer while, keeping your emotions in check. You should also try to understand and respect the priorities of the seller, be creative, and be willing to compromise to get the deal done.
Be Motivated But Not Too Eager
For you, as a buyer in a buyers’ market, it all starts before you even make an offer, the first time you see that home you think might be THE ONE. It’s important that you not give yourself away to the listing agent by getting too excited about your “find”. If anything, ask a few questions, maybe take a few notes, and let your agent do most of the talking.
The point is that ideally you’re trying to strike a balance by appearing, on the one hand, to be a qualified, motivated buyer while, on the other hand, not appearing to be too eager. You’ll demonstrate that you’re a serious buyer – the kind sellers look for – at the time you make the offer. Not only will this approach show that you’re qualified and motivated, it will place you in a stronger negotiating position overall. The sellers won’t want to lose you and so will be more inclined to reduce their price a little and/or make some concessions with respect to terms.
Understand and Respect the Seller’s Priorities
If, through the negotiations, you can find out more about the seller’s situation and priorities you’ll not only improve your position, but you’ll also be able to resolve any obstacles more creatively and sensitively.For instance, if a seller is adamant about the sale price they might be more flexible about taking care of a few repairs or part of the transaction costs. Or if they need a certain closing date, you might be able to get them to concede some other terms. There are no “one size fits all” approaches to negotiating, particularly in the current market when there are so many distress sales. In principle, though, the more you know about the seller’s priorities, the more you’ll be able to work with them in order to achieve your own priorities.
Look Beyond the Price
While a home’s sale price is generally the focus of negotiations, the terms of the transaction can be a big help in resolving obstacles. Other items that can be negotiated include who will pay for repairs, the amount of your earnest money deposit, who will pay for closing costs, and if fixtures and furniture will be included in the sale. Make sure to get all terms of the purchase in writing within the agreement. These terms should then be carefully reviewed and clearly understood by both you and the seller so that you’re on the same page and the negotiations move forward.