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Negotiating a House Price as a Buyer

Two Men sitting across from each other at a table.

Buying or selling a home often comes with some negotiation. In fact, it is expected and normal for both parties to set a price higher (seller) or make an offer lower (buyer) than they are ultimately willing to accept. If you are the buyer, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your negotiations.

  • Get Help from a Negotiating Pro: A Realtor or real estate agent is your best advocate during the negotiation stage of a real estate purchase. This is the point where a good agent does the real heavy lifting. They can suggest a fair offer, point out other points of negotiation beyond the actual purchase price, such as closing costs assistance, and communicate with the seller or their agent.
  • Get Preapproved: Beginning negotiations with a preapproval letter from your lender in hand is a good place to be. This shows buyers that you are ready to move forward, which may make them more likely to agree to your proposed sale terms.
  • Get an Inspection: Including a home inspection contingency can provide a lot of leverage and protection for you as the buyer. If the inspection finds issues that are serious or costly, you can rest assured knowing that you can always back out of the deal without penalty. Ask the seller to fix these things or lower the price. They may be willing to do this rather than lose the sale and start over with a new buyer.
  • Stick to Your Guns: If you just can’t agree on a sale price or terms, this may not be the home for you. Don’t be afraid to walk away from the sale. This can be very difficult if you have been looking for a new home for awhile or this home has features that you have fallen in love with, but it is an important part of negotiating. Make a list of deal-breakers for you and stick to them.
  • Make Your Case: In a competitive seller’s market when there are multiple buyers vying for one property, including a personal letter with your offer may set you apart. Don’t embellish or overdo it, but sharing with the seller the reasons that you like the property and want to make it your home may just make them want to do business with you rather than the next guy or gal.

Some people love negotiating, while others dread it. Whatever your stance, working with a professional who can guide you makes the whole process easier and can ultimately get you into your new home faster and with a better deal.

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