Negotiating a Home Sale: The Art of Getting the Home You Want

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:28

If you’re thinking of buying a home, you are going to want to get the most home for your money. But how do you do that?

Just as in any business deal, negotiation is going to come into play when you put in an offer on a home. There are a few things that you can do as a buyer to help you have some negotiating power, and with your real estate agent guiding you, making some informed decisions and maneuvers can increase your odds of landing the home that you want at a price that you can afford.

Here are a few tips:

Do Your Legwork. In order to be able to make an informed offer, you’ll need to know how long the home has been on the market. If it’s a brand new listing in an area where the inventory levels are low, there will likely not be much negotiating that you can do. But, the longer it has sat unsold the more bargaining power you should have. You’ll want to look at comparable recent sales in the area (or “comps”), and information about the neighborhood and local market. Your agent can help you uncover all of this information so that you can make an informed offer.

Retain Your Privacy. The less the seller knows about your personal situation, the better. If you are in a rush to get into a new home before the sale on your old home closes, this information could prompt a seller to press for more money. The last thing you want to do is seem desperate.

Keep Your Options Open. If possible, you shouldn’t go into the negotiation process without some sort of a backup plan in case the deal does fall through. Make sure that you have some other properties you’re looking at in the pipeline. If you seem too eager to purchase a particular home, the seller might feel he or she has more leverage.

Be Ready to Counteroffer. If your first offer is countered and you really want the house, think about a possible counteroffer to put on the table. Negotiation doesn’t always have to be about price either. For example, the seller may want a specific closing date. If you can meet that date you can use this leverage to your advantage.

Have Your Financing Ready. You will have more bargaining power if you can show that you have a lender who is ready to provide you with a home loan. Getting pre-approved for a loan is the best way to show your financial commitment, and can take the guesswork out of making an offer. If you’re thinking of buying a home, get to work on a pre-approval right away.

Don’t Get Emotional. Yes, buying a new home is an emotional business, sometimes fraught with anxiety. But as with any business dealings, it’s best not to let your heart rule your head. Staying as objective as you can during the negotiation process will allow you to make the best decisions and present your best case for being the right buyer for the home. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you kept your cool.

Clear thinking and the assistance of a savvy real estate agent who knows your target market are two of the best tools to ensure smooth negotiations and an efficient closing on the home you want. Contact your agent today to start your home search and ask for plenty of pointers about what you should do when it comes time to make an offer.

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Kristin Brown

Kristin Brown is a realtor for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Lexington, MA. As a lifelong Lexington resident, Kristin has deep local roots. She has served Lexington and the surrounding communities for eight years, working with buyers, sellers and developers. She is 110-percent committed to achieve all of her clients expectations. Kristin graduated for the University of Massachusetts and is a member of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, MAR, NAR, MLS-PIN, Women's Council of Realtors, and a recipient of The International Elite Award.

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