How to Negotiate Like a Pro When Buying Your Home
When you’re buying the house of your dreams, your negotiation skills may be put to the test. Here’s some advice on negotiating from the top real estate agents Bellevue, WA residents call on when they want to make a deal.
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Know the Market
Just like in other areas of business, you can’t negotiate when you don’t know the market. Before even looking at houses in person, look at listings online to increase your knowledge about prices, trending neighborhoods, and the amount of time homes like the one you’re seeking have been on the market.
Find Lots of Options
It’s difficult to negotiate when you feel like you only have one option. Therefore, it makes sense to have other aces in your hand, so to speak, so if one home doesn’t work out, you have other choices.
Work with the Right Broker
The right buyer’s broker can assist you by sorting through the homes for sale in Bellevue, WA and picking out the right ones to tour. A helpful broker can also be essential when it comes to making offers and counteroffers. They can encourage you to look at the situation realistically and caution you when it’s time to terminate negotiations and move on.
Understand the Seller and Their Broker
Getting inside the seller’s head gives you an inside edge in negotiating. What is the seller’s motivation for accepting an offer? It’s not always money. Some sellers need a fast closing or want to feel like they’ve passed on their property to a buyer who will appreciate it. What is the broker emphasizing about the home that could give you a hint at their state of mind? Are they always talking price and contingencies, or are they more concerned with the timing of the sale?
Study the Inspection
Never let anyone talk you out of a home inspection, no matter how great the home looks. Is there anything on the inspection that could make offering a lower amount sound reasonable, like a roof that needs replacing? Big-ticket items you would have to pay for are usually fair game to deduct from the asking price unless the property is being sold “as-is.”
Be Realistic About Your Offer
Many people enter into negotiations for a new home thinking they’ll “low ball” the owner hoping to pay well below the asking price for the property. Usually, this tells the owner you’re not knowledgeable about the market and gets your offer rejected out of hand with no counteroffer. It’s okay to offer less than the asking price, but be realistic and be ready to justify your offer with facts, such as things that show up on the inspection or a downturn in the local market.
Ask for Non-Monetary Extra Concessions
If you’re paying the full asking price or more for a property, which often happens in competitive markets, you may be able to ask for extra non-monetary concessions to ease the blow to your bank account. For example, some owners are happy to include small repairs, appliances, or furniture in the final price, as well as contingencies, like closing by a certain date or an appraisal that meets a certain threshold. Be creative--it’s not all about the money.
Don’t Nickel and Dime the Seller
That said, you don’t want to nickel and dime the seller, asking them to repair every tiny scratch or sell you custom window treatments at bargain basement prices. Be respectful, and don’t ask for price changes that you wouldn’t feel comfortable having someone ask of you if the roles were reversed.
Set an Expiration Date
Sometimes home buying negotiations can drag on forever without a closing date in sight. Know when to walk away from owners who can’t make up their minds or who keep adding things to the contract. Set a date by which you need to come to an agreement or start looking at other properties so you don’t lose out entirely.
Be Prepared to Move Quickly
In a hot market, you will need to jump on desirable properties right away, often the same day you see them. So get pre-approved for a mortgage and have your broker at your side to get an offer tendered as soon as possible.
The chances of finding a home that ticks every box on your wishlist can be slim, even with a high budget. Think about what you’re willing to compromise on, whether that’s a large yard, a garage, a gourmet kitchen, or the trendiest neighborhood.
Avoid Emotional Attachment
Finally, don’t get too emotionally attached to any home until you’re the owner. Getting emotionally attached can hamper your negotiation skills and make you do foolish things, such as offering too much on a property. Your broker can help you keep a level head, even when you think you’ve found the perfect house.
Go into any real estate negotiations saying, “If this house doesn’t work out, it’s for a reason. Another home that’s as good or better is waiting around the corner.” Perhaps even literally!