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.

Negotiating Advice When Selling Your Home

One of the trickiest parts of buying or selling a home is the negotiation process. Too often when our home is involved our emotions get in the way and the deal can go south quickly. Negotiating is an art. A real estate professional is trained in negotiating but you will need to prepare too. Here are some hints to help you navigate the home sale negotiation process:

Do your homework know your home’s worth, understand the value of your home in the marketplace.

Be realistic about what your home is worth. Much of the work you did to the home was a labor of love and may not have a monetary value.

Be patient, negotiations can take time.

Do not let emotions (greed, pride, anger, or prejudice) get in the way of negotiating the best deal.

Think of your home as “the house”,” instead of “my home.” You have made the decision to move so try to think of the sale as a business transaction.

Take all reasonable offers seriously.

Don’t let a good deal walk away over a few hundred dollars.

Try to look at the deal from the opposite side of the table. This will help you try to see where the potential buyer is coming from.

Most of all, have a positive attitude. Don’t get caught up in the game of negotiating instead remember the goal is to sell your house for a fair price and move on to your next adventure.