You’ve saved for your down payment, set a realistic budget and found a home worthy of an offer. Want to ensure you get the best price and terms possible? Here’s a rundown of some winning negotiation strategies:
1. Research the market
Use public records to find helpful facts about the house itself: Has it been on the market before? For what price? Then widen the net by reviewing the MLS (multiple listing service) entries for comparable properties in the area and asking your real estate agent to run a comparative market analysis (CMA).
2. Learn about the seller
Maybe the seller is hoping for a quick closing ahead of a cross-country move. Or buying a new house is contingent upon selling the current one. The more you can find out about the seller’s situation, the more ammunition you’ll have for negotiating.
3. Stay quiet on social media
Excited to have found your “dream home”? Mum’s the word on Twitter or Facebook, or you’ll have lost any power to negotiate with a savvy seller’s agent.
4. Don’t debate every dime
When it comes to the final offer price, remember a few thousand dollars spread across your loan term (the length of your loan in years) might ultimately amount to less than what it costs to have dinner out once a month. Don’t lose your first-choice home over what winds up being a small amount in the long term.
5. Know a good deal when you see it
Some eager sellers may initially price their properties to sell them quickly. If research suggests you’re getting a good deal, don’t try to get a better one on principle, as you could lose out.
Embracing the negotiation process can lead to a more rewarding purchase and significant savings on your first home.