After a long road of visiting open houses, touring homes, and completing hours of internet research, you and your Real Deal Agent are finally ready to seal the deal with the sellers. For many people, the prospect of sitting down with the seller and negotiating a price is downright panic-inducing. It’s stressful to attempt to work out all the nitty gritty details of such a large purchase, especially if it’s a seller’s market in which there are more buyers than sellers, giving the owner plenty of freedom to pick and choose their favorite buyer. Regardless of your personal circumstance, the first step is to relax. Real estate negotiations go a lot more smoothly when all parties are calm and collected. Before diving into the rest of the process, check out these negotiating tips:
- Be Prepared
Before you even start looking for a house, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage and have all of your finances in order. The more organized you are, the more confident your seller will feel about your financial worthiness.
- Be Quick
Once you and your agent have honed in on the house of your dreams, be fast about responding to the seller after you’ve made your first offer. Delaying at all, especially in a competitive market, leaves the door open for other buyers.
- Make a Smart Offer
Your agent will have plenty of guidance on this, but base your offer on the value of the home as opposed to the actual listing price. Do your own research on what the value should be based on nearby real estate, and combine with any extra knowledge your agent has to create the best offer.
- Always a 3-Way Street
Make a concerted effort to never go around your real estate agent, even just for things that seem inconsequential. Home buying is a complex legal process, and running everything by your Real Deal Agent helps create a paper trail that may be useful later if something goes awry.
- No Secrets
Make sure your agent is asking all the right questions of all the right parties. If a pending former sale didn’t go through, why? If a home has been on the market for longer than normal, why? Why is the seller moving? A “motivated” seller will be easier to sway into a lower price. House inspections are also critical, and help you paint a broader picture of what a reasonable offer will look like.
- Be Brave
If there is something you want that isn’t currently included in your negotiations, ask for it! The worst thing that can happen is the seller says no. Keep in mind, however, that many superficial aspects of a home are easily changed (cabinets, flooring, etc).
- Expect to Compromise
As wonderful as it would be, there is no perfect home-buying scenario. You may have to compromise on price, or a certain feature, location, etc. Home-buying is just as much an emotional experience as it is a financial one, so try to go into it with a clear head.