Negotiating Advice For Home Buyers


Whether you’re 25 or 65, one thing’s for sure: Home ownership, raising a family, and having enough money to retire comfortably takes a lot of money! Surprisingly, a high percentage of people of all ages have not accumulated a sufficient nest egg for their future needs.

What many homeowners (and aspiring homeowners) don’t stop to realize is that there are many opportunities to save money, reduce expenses, and keep more of your hard-earned cash where it belongs: in your pocket, bank account, or retirement plan. While it may seem like your money flies out the window as fast as you can earn it, you may be overlooking some key strategies for holding on to more of it. One of the most powerful tactics for saving and making more money is learning how to negotiate effectively.

Practicing the Art of Negotiation

Virtually “everything is negotiable,” especially in real estate transactions. Fortunately, you can rely on a good real estate agent to look out for your interests and get you the best deal. However, it is generally to your advantage to have a basic understanding of negotiating principles and the possibility of winning concessions from the other side.

Perhaps the number one thing to keep in mind when attending an open house or touring a home you’re considering buying is to choose your words carefully — particularly if you’re in the presence of the seller’s agent or the home seller, themselves (Note: If you’re just viewing the house with your buyers’ agent, you don’t have to worry about weighing your words or being too effusive.) As an example, if you blurt out “This house is absolutely perfect!” or “This is exactly what we’re looking for!” then you’re putting yourself at a strategic disadvantage when it comes to making an offer on the house. It pays to “play things close to the vest.” That expression, of course, originated from the game of poker, in which it’s a tactical error to let your opponents see your cards.

There are dozens of situations in life where negotiating skills can help you gain hundreds, if not thousands of additional dollars from a transaction. Examples range from negotiating a raise or a starting salary to buying or selling real estate or automobiles. By developing your negotiating skills and practicing them at every opportunity, you’ll find yourself gaining financial and other advantages that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you. As the poem “My Wage” by Jessie B. Rittenhouse reminds us, if we bargain with life for pennies, then that’s exactly what we’ll get in return.

By negotiating the best possible deal in real estate transactions, automobile purchases, home improvement contracts, employment opportunities, credit card interest rates, and dozens of other situations, you can build up a larger retirement nest egg, help your kids pay for college, and achieve a greater measure of financial security.

The Hidden Secrets Of Real Estate Negotiations

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, one of the most important parts of the process is the negotiation phase. This means different things whether you’re buying or selling a home. When you’re selling a home, you’re usually looking to get the most money for your home that you possibly can. If you’re buying a home, you want the lowest possible price for the home. Hence, the reason for real estate negotiations. Buyers and sellers must meet somewhere in the middle. For your consideration, we’ll break down some of the most important aspects of the real estate negotiation process.

The Cost Means Different Things

As we stated above, buyers want the lowest price, while sellers want the highest price possible for a home. Whatever side you’re on, expect to meet somewhere in the middle. The price of the home has to make sense for both sides. The seller wants the sale of their home to make sense financially and the buyer wants to home to fit into their budget while getting the things they desire out of the home.

The Financing Process Is Complicated

If you have your mortgage fully approved prior to making an offer, you’ll be able to shorten the closing time of the home. The reason for this is that the preapproval shows that all of the buyer’s finances are in order and there will be no financial problems in the transaction. Sellers often prefer these buyers since they can be trusted to close properly and there won’t any issues with the real estate transaction. The property also won’t be on hold for months on end.

The Date Of Closing Matters

If sellers need to get their home off of the market fast, they can negotiate when the closing date will be. As a buyer, this matters because the next month’s mortgage payment is skipped once you close on a house. The closing date affects when exactly this payment doesn’t need to be made, which can have a positive effect on your finances when it’s timed right.

Closing Costs Are Actually Paid Upfront

Escrow is when the mortgage company holds the money for taxes and insurance, which is the prepaid closing costs. Buyers sometimes ask sellers to pay a portion of the closing costs. This could be a flat fee or up to 3 percent of the included mortgage. This could all have an effect on the asking price for the home.

Just Like A Car, Homes Can Come With Warranties

Buyers can ask for a warranty on the home, or the seller can offer one. This warranty typically covers the home’s appliances and utility systems. This provides a protection if things like the air conditioning or the dishwasher break after a certain period of time and need repair. This may make the home extra enticing to buyers and give sellers an advantage to get their home off the market quickly.

The Importance of a Buyer’s Agent

Buy A common misconception amongst the general public is that using a real estate agent when purchasing a home will be costly. What consumers don’t realize is that they won’t actually be saving themselves any money by foregoing the use of a buyer’s agent.

Buyers may inaccurately assume that they’ll get a better deal by working directly with the listing agent of a specific property they’re interested in, rather than by adding a buyer’s agent to the mix. This belief is grounded in the ideology that if there’s only one agent involved, only one agent is being paid. While this is true, the money-saving theory behind this type of one-agent-transaction is being misconstrued. There is, in fact, only one agent being paid, in this case the listing agent, however, this agent will receive the full commission from both sides of the negotiation. The same monetary value is wielded whether one agent or two agents are involved in the contract making this alleged shortcut inconsequential.

The drawbacks of dealing directly with a listing agent as a buyer, are however, substantial. The listing agent is contractually obligated first and foremost to the seller. The listing agent represents the seller’s best interests by law. By hiring a buyer’s agent, buyers are actively ensuring that their best interests are not an afterthought, and are on the contrary, of the utmost importance to their agent.

If you are a potential buyer, looking to purchase a new home or make a real estate investment, allow a real estate agent to act on your behalf. A successful buyer’s agent is not only obligated, but happy to hold you, the buyer, as his or her number one priority in every part of the purchasing process.

As your buyer’s agent, my job would be to help you, help you. How can I help you today?