When you find that perfect home after days (or months) of searching…it’s time to make an offer! Time to negotiate the final terms of the deal. The right Realtor will certainly help you with writing the contract…but it’s important that you are prepared to ultimately land the best deal possible. Here are some tips to be on top of your game:
Find out as much as you can about the seller. Knowing their motivation for selling can be the key to understanding the seller’s flexibility when negotiating. Whether there is a job transfer involved with relocation to another state, settling an heir’s estate financial difficulties, purchasing a larger home or downsizing…knowledge is power.
Don’t let the seller know how badly you may want their property. Don’t tip your hand emotionally. But on the other side of the coin, I have asked buyers, in multiple offer situations, to write a letter to the seller that is presented with their offer, explaining what they love about the house and a little of their personal story. Many times this has been the deciding factor for a seller in the offer they choose, if the offered price is similar on all the contracts.
After you agree on the sales price, there may be future negotiations if the appraisal comes in low, or issues come up with the home inspection or termite report. “Be willing to walk”…but on the other hand, “Be willing to compromise”. You will get much further in the negotiations if there is a feeling of working together towards the same common goal. NO one wins if the deal falls apart at the end. If both sides can “give and take” a little, everyone will walk away from the closing table feeling good about the deal. But when you have reached your spending limit and have no further room to negotiate but the seller wants to continue bargaining, simply tell your agent that you are prepared to walk away. You don’t need to declare “THIS IS MY FINAL OFFER!!”, which might be offensive to the seller. If the seller gives a counter offer higher than your limit, simply go back with the previous offer you presented, explaining that is the very best you can do. Communicate that you are hopeful they can reconsider. If they can’t, it’s time to tell your agent you are walking away. Once that is shared with the seller, it might be enough for them to accept your “highest and best offer”….or they may be willing to walk away as well.