Negotiate the Best Price for Your New Home
Are you ready to make a deal? Here are a few tips to help the home seller say “yes” to the lowest price possible:
Let your agent do the talking.
Never contact the seller directly to make an offer. Always let your real estate agent do it. Not only is he or she more experienced with home sale negotiations, but is also more familiar with contract language and local laws. You don’t want a misunderstanding to turn into a barrier for buying!
But, don’t be invisible.
After all, you’re about to ask someone to hand over his or her home to you. Most sellers want to know their home is going to be cared for. The more the seller cares about you personally, the more likely the transaction will go smoothly. So when you make an offer through your agent, you could share some details about you and your family and why you fell in love with the home. Buying and selling a home is an emotional time for everyone. You can use that emotion to your advantage.
Do your homework on home prices.
Ask your real estate agent for a list of comparable homes (“comps”) that have sold recently in the neighborhood. Your offer should be in line with those prices. And, pay close attention to the comps listed, to make sure they really are similar to the home you want to buy.
Before you make an offer, do the math on your mortgage payments.
Be sure that you can afford the price (and don’t forget to add homeowner’s insurance, real estate taxes and mortgage insurance, if applicable).
When the seller makes a counteroffer, respond right away.
Counteroffers are a fact of life when buying and selling a home. When the seller counters your offer with a new price, have your agent get in touch quickly with your response. This demonstrates that you remain a serious buyer, and also helps shut out any other potential buyers who may be waiting in the wings.
Remember, nothing excites a seller more than a bidding war among several serious buyers! So if you find yourself in one, be sure you run the numbers on each counteroffer you make to ensure the monthly mortgage payments remain comfortably in your budget.