It’s that final moment. Your heart is beating with excitement and suspense. You’re a little nervous, but you’re ready to pull the trigger on buying the home you like. Now it’s time to talk about negotiating. Every home seller and property offers their own challenges when it comes to defining a negotiation strategy. Armed with the right knowledge, you can make the right offer that won’t leave you disappointed. So, let’s go over some tips and strategies to keep in mind when talking with your real estate agent.
Defining the Strategy
Even though your real estate agent will be handling most of the negotiating, it doesn’t mean you’ll be sitting on the bench. It’s your job to set the strategy goals with your agent, and before you do, it doesn’t hurt to become a little educated.
One of the most important things to know before setting a strategy is to understand current market conditions (in your area). A buyer’s market will drastically change your negotiation strategy compared to a seller’s market. Now, let’s go over strategy suggestions that correspond to different market conditions.
Negotiating in a Buyer’s Market
A buyer’s market refers to a time when there are more homes for sale than there are active buyers. It means homeowners will be fighting for your attention, as buyer offers may be scarce. For sellers, it means it’ll take longer for them to sell their property, convincing them to not let a serious buyer slip through their grip. As a result, they’ll be more obliged to negotiate.
Strategy Ideas: Ask for the Moon
- Negotiate the price of the home. Try offering at least 10% below the price you want to end up paying.
- Ask the seller to pay closing costs.
- Arrange a closing time that is convenient to you.
- If you like the appliances and home theater system, ask for them.
Negotiating in a Seller’s Market
A seller’s market is, in simple terms, the opposite of a buyer’s market. This time there are more buyers than homes for sale. This means the seller will be receiving more offers than during a balanced market, and they’ll be less likely to negotiate with you (as a buyer) since they’ll be more making possibly better offers. During this time, you need to make a straightforward, clean offer. You can’t procrastinate or someone else will snatch up the home before you.
Strategy Ideas: Make Your Offer Simple
- Make sure you’re pre-approved for a loan before making an offer.
- Offer close to the asking price or right at the mark.
- Expect the homeowner to set the closing date convenient to him.
- Ask for the standard contingencies – financing, appraisal, and inspection.
Concluding Strategy: Rely on Your Agent
Whether it’s a buyer’s market or seller’s market (or even a balanced market), the best thing you can do is trust your agent. They will have the knowledge and expertise to determine the best strategy and tactic. Trust in them and the data they present, and be sure to communicate your goals. A good real estate agent will know how to negotiate for you.
If you’d like to see how we can help you buy a home in the Northern Virginia area, please don’t hesitate to contact us.