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40 Life Changing Tips on How to Negotiate a House Price When Buying

how to negotiate a house price when buying
Buying a home is a huge task and something that you only do a few times in your entire life. Going into the process prepared means you can hopefully save some money on the home of your dreams. Considering you are going to be spending more money on one thing than you ever have you need to be sure you are doing the best job you can negotiating the price.

Go into your negotiations prepared and you will do much better. Remember that you are likely going to be using a Realtor, and should rely on them. If you are doing the negotiation yourself these tips can help you succeed at getting the best price possible on your new home.

  1. As you walk through the home try to make note of anything that isn’t up to code or standard. If something needs to be fixed, that is something you can negotiate with the seller.
  2. Do your best to learn why they are selling. Sellers who are in a hurry or must sell might accept a lower offer than one who has time to spare.
  3. Ask to see if they have had an appraisal done on the home. Use this as a guide to submit your first offer.
  4. Submit fair and reasonable price offers or they may be rejected out of home.
  5. Be willing to walk away. In negotiations, the one who is willing to walk away has the strongest position.
  6. Ask if the person there can handle the negotiations if it comes to that. This avoids the tactic of putting off your bid until they can “check with the manager”.
  7. Submit your proposals in writing to be clear on what you want included.
  8. Use silence to gain some advantage when negotiating in person. Usually whoever breaks a silence bends on what the issue is.
  9. Your body language can be a negotiating tool. Use a frown, a shrug, a wince, crossed arms, or some other non-verbal cue to show them you are unhappy with a point in the negotiation.
  10. Make sure you look at the market. Explore comparable properties and put your offer in with the differences of the property you are bidding on in mind.
  11. Don’t tell the seller anything that reveals how eager you are to buy the home. The more a seller knows that you want something, the more they know they can raise the price.
  12. Remember your Realtor is the person that you can count on to negotiate, but they aren’t a friend. Your relationship is a business relationship. Keep things professional and honest with your Realtor to get the most out of their help.
  13. Avoid telling the “why you want this house” story, keep conversation simple and don’t tip your hand. Always be nice, and genuine, while you are keeping anything they can use out of the conversation.
  14. Always know your upper limit. Before you begin looking at homes know how much you can spend, including taxes and insurance. This is your hard limit and never negotiate above it, no matter how tempted.
  15. Do your best to seem hesitant about the purchase. Never reveal that you must make a deal fast because you must be out of your own home. Also, if you have come into money this is not something the seller should know about.
  16. If the price seems over the comparable properties in the area, ask what justifies the higher price.
  17. Avoid getting emotional, remember it is a business transaction. Don’t let yourself be angry about rejected offers you feel are fair. Your frustration with the process shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with the process itself.
  18. Even if you are good at negotiating, let your Realtor do the work. It’s one of the things you are paying them for, the nitty gritty aspects of negotiations.
  19. Sometimes incentives for the seller, or your Realtor, can close a deal. Your Realtor might make you a higher priority client if you offer a higher percentage. If you need to buy in a hurry, try to come up with incentives to sway the seller to act quickly.
  20. Don’t hesitate to let the seller and the agents involved know you will rent if you can’t buy at the time. It makes you look less desperate to buy a home.
  21. Even if you don’t think your upper limit is enough, try submitting an offer for the home. You never know how much a buyer may need to get out of their property.
  22. If they respond to an offer with the list price of the home, don’t get discouraged. Raise your offer slightly and submit a new one to see if they are willing to come down at all.
  23. If the seller invites you to submit a new offer, look at the situation and if you can come up on your price then submit a slightly higher offer.
  24. If the seller says they aren’t accepting offers until a set date, make sure to still submit a fair and reasonable offer on that date. You may be the only one who does.
  25. Ensure you put a time limit on a counter offer. When you counter an offer, you enter a negotiation. While you are negotiating, you are legally restricted from accepting other offers until you end that negotiation.
  26. If you ask the seller to pay closing costs, be prepared to have them try to include it in the price of the home. If this is something you are okay with, then don’t walk away. If you don’t have the cash up front for closing costs it might be a benefit to have them make the offer.
  27. Consider concessions in some things to get a lower price. Allow longer for the seller to move out of the property, or a quick close, whatever may be a negotiation point.
  28. Check and see if you are in a buyer’s or a seller’s market. If it is a seller’s market, then you may have a bit more power in the negotiations than if the buyer has a lot of options.
  29. Never lead with the highest price you are willing to pay for the home. Always go in a little under to give yourself to negotiate a little.
  30. If something needs to be repaired in the home, ask the seller to either fix it as part of the final agreement, or to lower the price by what that repair will cost.
  31. The price of the home is not the only thing to negotiate. If there are other aspects such as HOA fee’s or changes to the property that you want, make sure that you don’t fixate on the price.
  32. Keep calm and don’t allow any discussion to become combative.
  33. Keep questions succinct and to the point. Avoid asking about things that won’t move the negotiation along.
  34. If the seller makes a counter offer, answer it within 24 hours, but not in 24 minutes. Too fast of a response makes you seem over eager.
  35. The more you can make the seller seem your friend, the more they will consider your offer.
  36. Try to find interests that you share, or anything you can use to make them feel more friendly.
  37. Be a skeptic when it comes to things your seller says. Not every seller will make up a story for sympathy, but you should still stick to the facts.
  38. Your cousin may be a great Realtor, but you shouldn’t use them to buy or sell a home. It creates a conflict of interest that can complicate the process. Hire a Realtor that you won’t feel guilty walking away from if you don’t think they are doing the right job for you.
  39. Know what your budget will get you. You can’t expect marble floors on a vinyl budget. Try to get as much as you can, without trying to get more than you can reasonably expect in a home.
  40. Don’t bring the kids with you when you go home shopping if they aren’t old enough. Nothing makes a situation more difficult than chasing a toddler. If you are so focused on the children, you will miss details that could cost thousands later.