Nine Negotiation Tips to Get the Best Deal

When it comes to buying a home, your negotiation knowledge can go a long way to protecting your interests and helping you get the home you want.  Keep these tips in mind as you proceed through the buying process and remember you will get the best advice and outcome if you allow your agent to become a buyers' agent.  Ask how.

  1. Set your priorities early

           Knowing what is really important to you early on will go a long way to making your experience smoother and faster.  Ultimately, the bar for whether your negotiation is successful is determined by what the home and terms are worth to you.

     2.  Know your local environment

          The best negotiators are the most informed.  Ask your agent to provide data on recent sold prices for similar homes, average difference between asking and sold price, and average days on the market for similar properties.

    3.  Get the inside scoop

           Don't make a blind offer.  Ask your agent to explain market data to you and how that might relate to your transaction.  Your buyers' agent may also know some valuable transaction know some valuable transaction politics like whether or not the seller may need to sell and move quickly.

    4.  Problem solve for all parties

           Traditionally, negotiations were a two way power struggle between buyer and seller.  Now, however, buyers do well to consider all parties that may be involved in the transaction - seller, lenders, appraisers, and maybe even homeowners associations.  It is more important than ever to approach your negotiation with a win-win attitude with the aim of meeting as many needs as possible.

    5.  Bond with your lender

           Too often transactions fall through at the financing stage.  Work in advance with your mortgage lender to make sure you provide all necessary documents and possibly even secure back-up financing if things go wrong.  Not waiting until it happens will prevent a great deal of angst.

     6.  Manage your own mindset

            Remember during the process that the least emotional parties have the most success.  The more attached you are to a particular home or price point, the more likely you are to panic or cave in on important points.  Lean on and listen to your agent for objective support throughout the transaction.  It's their job to make sure you a making the most informed and positive decisions. 

     7.  Learn and accept the "negotiables"

           Learn early what is and what isn't within each party's control.  Your agent can help you with this and you can avoid the emotional exhaustion that comes from haggling in areas that aren't negotiable like the bank's bottom line or cosmetic repairs. 

     8.  Minimize time pressures

             When buying or selling, changing or moving deadlines can cost you thousands of dollar and perhaps even terminate the offer.  To prevent problems plan and search early when possible, locate temporary rentals, and develop an alternate plan if your closing is delayed or you encounter last minute hurdles.

      9.  Act quickly - not impulsively 

         When you find just the home your want, make an offer!  If you get a response or a counteroffer, respond to it.  In real estate, time if always of the essence and prolonged hesitation often results in lost opportunities.  Keep in mind there are always competing buyers out there and interest rates are always changing.  Rely on and listen to your agent for advice and suggestions.