It’s down to the wire. You’re close to pulling the trigger on your brand new home, but you think you can get the price down. What negotiation strategies can you use to talk the buyer down without going overboard? Here are four tried-and-true negotiation strategies for the savvy, future homeowner:
1. Do Your Research
If the house you’re targeting has a sticker price of $500,000, but houses of comparable size in the neighborhood are going for $450,000, you’ve hit your first bargaining chip. Something may be awry with the current sticker price. To verify, do a quick look online to see at what price the home is valued. If both the home value and the neighborhood average are less than what your seller is asking, you’ve created wiggle room with your negotiations. Data is one of the strongest negotiating points you have. Get to know the home value versus the home price so you don’t offer more than the home is worth.
2. Get to Know Your Seller’s History
Why are the current homeowners moving? How long have they owned the home? Have there been previous offers? Each of these questions will paint a picture about how antsy the seller is. The more you know the seller’s incentives to sell, the better prepared you will be for negotiations. Let’s say the seller has accepted a new job and has 20 days to move. This quick move, with a new opportunity on their plate, may mean they don’t have time to worry about selling a home on top of their new responsibilities. How does this work into negotiation strategies? They may be more antsy to sell and, as a result, may be willing to take a lower price for convenience.
3. What’s Your Cherry on Top?
If you go in with a low cost offer, part of your negotiation strategy needs to be an added perk. Do you have the flexibility to pay in cash? Are there any costs you will cover for the seller? Anything additional (but still worth your while) will be attractive to the seller.
4. Be Prepared for Every Situation
If you’re making an offer on a home, chances are you love the house. But do you love it enough to pay more should the seller present a counteroffer? Be prepared for all circumstances so you can act fast. If a seller makes a counteroffer, your hesitation could mean another buyer sneaks in. Be prepared with plan B should plan A fall through.
If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. Negotiating details at the close is common practice for all homebuyers and sellers, and these negotiation tactics have proven successful time and time again.