How to negotiate the best deal when buying a house

  • 7 months ago
  • 1

The old saying is that in real estate, everything is negotiable. But is it really?

When you go to buy a house, you’re certainly hoping to get the best price and terms. To do that, you need to know when to start negotiating and when to stop. That begins with being familiar with the market, down to the neighborhood and maybe even the street.

If there are more homes for sale than people who want them, there is usually more room for negotiation than if there’s a shortage of inventory, as is the case in many desirable neighborhoods throughout the country.

“All those deals of the century are gone,” says Sheila Rugege Dantzler, a broker with Related Realty in Chicago. “The deal of the century is, ‘I got a good property that meets my needs.’ If you get it, then you win.”

The pace of home sales has slowed since last year in many cities, and buyers are gaining a little more leverage. Plus, many buyers are dealing with sellers who don’t realize that home prices are not rising as fast as last year. That creates opportunities for negotiation on some homes – but not all. Buyers may have some breathing room in certain locations. But in others, lower priced homes are snapped up as soon as they are listed.

With home listings so accessible online, some would-be buyers may think they don’t need a real estate agent. It’s easy to find a house online, but it’s harder than it appears to get from offer to closing. A good agent, with knowledge of the market and negotiation experience, can make the difference between a successful purchase and a deal that falls apart. In most cases, buyers pay nothing to use an agent because real estate commissions are covered by the seller.

“This will probably be the single largest purchase that you’ll ever make,” Dantzler says. “You need a trusted party negotiating on your behalf.”

Here are 12 tips for homebuyers to get the best deal.

Remember that terms can be as important as price. That could mean removing inspection contingencies, making a bigger down payment, accepting the contents with an estate sale or changing the closing date to accommodate the seller. “The fewer contingencies you have … the more likely you are to get the house,” Dantzler says.

Consider writing a personal letter with your offer. Clarke includes letters and photos of the prospective buyers with most offers. “It puts a face and a picture and a story,” he says. “It’s not just another offer the sellers are looking at. It’s a person. It’s a family. … People want someone like them to enjoy the property as much as they did.”

source: http://www.livingonthecheap.com/negotiate-best-deal-buying-house/

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