Six negotiation secrets smart home buyers use to get better deals

ACT QUICKLY ON THE OPPORTUNITY:

Responding to counteroffers as quickly as feasible is crucial, as is avoiding making a counteroffer with any term that isn’t genuinely a deal breaker. Delays in responding allow another buyer to step in and start a bidding war, or, more likely, the seller to suspect that there are other serious buyers out there. A homebuyer’s number one adversary is a seller’s notion of a whiff of the fragrance of a potential bidding battle, which exponentially increases the likely sales price in the seller’s imagination.

CUT IN THE MIDDLE MAN/WOMAN:

Always go via your real estate agent when you want to ask or tell the seller something. Your real estate agent will express your request or concern to the seller’s agent. I know it seems inefficient, but contacting the vendor directly is a novice approach. It’s just not done, owing to the difficult terminology and legal implications. Also, seemingly minor changes to your agreement with the seller could cause issues with your lender; your real estate agent is better able than you to spot these red flags. You engaged your agency, so make the most of it! It will avoid the potentially disastrous misunderstandings that can occur when you or the seller say something that is even slightly different from what you intended.

 WHEN DEALING WITH A DEVELOPER/BUILDER, EVALUATE THE SITUATION:

When buying a freshly constructed home, a lot of the rhetoric about negotiations, price, terms, and so on may be pointless. The builder/developer, for the most part, defines the terms on which they will sell you a home in their neighbourhood, and you can take it or leave it. The list price is the price you pay, yet in many areas, if there is a considerable amount of inventory, developers and builders are ready to haggle.

Every buyer will be given a standard contract with a standard necessary deposit, standard contingency removal or objection period, and a standard set of disclosures. The larger the builder, the more rigid their methods and pricing will be. It doesn’t hurt to ask for concessions or upgrades, though. Furthermore, because builders despise being sued, they usually aim to draught a standard contract that includes most or all of the protections that your real estate agent would include in a contract for you.

LEARN THE FACTS ABOUT PENDINGS:

When the sold comps aren’t that similar or were sold a long time ago, and there’s a very similar pending comp, it’s easy to get lost in the details of what the buyer of the pending comp agreed to pay for the property. It’s possible to sweet-talk the listing agents of pending comps into giving over the dirt. Your real estate agent can contact them, explain the issue, and subtly inquire about contract price suggestions, such as “Was it sold for more than (or less than) the asking price? How far over (or under) did you go? What was the ratio of list price to sales price? And how fierce was the competition? Did you get more than one offer?” You can also make educated assumptions based on the length of time it was on the market; the longer it was on the market, the less likely it was to sell for the asking amount. The inverse is also true. It presumably sold at or above the asking price if it disappeared off the market immediately.

CHECK FOR THE COMPARABLES:

The higher your offer, the more probable it is that the seller will accept it. Because your real estate agent only gets paid if the seller accepts, it’s easy to see why some agents will include or stress the highest-priced comparable, even if they aren’t the most similar to your home. Request a copy of your Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from your agent, as well as the full MLS listing details of the closest comparable. You’ll be able to judge for yourself how similar they are!

GET YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU:

If you’re bidding against other potential purchasers for a home, your real estate agent’s preparation and presentation of your offer might make or break your chances. Hopefully, you interviewed a few real estate agents and chose one you can trust and who will go above and beyond for you. Always speak with your agent to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to expectations and deal breaker issues.

 

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