Plan your negotiation strategy in advance. Some people are born negotiators. However, many people feel uneasy. If you fall in the second category, think of a home purchase negotiation as a dialogue between you and the seller, through your realtor. It is a discussion for exchanging ideas with one another to see if you can come to mutually agreeable terms. If you can: Great. You have bought a home. If you can’t: that is okay, too. You will find yourself another home and the seller will find another buyer.
There are many ways to negotiate a home sale. It is hard to generalize because each transaction is unique. But, in most cases, a successful negotiation involves give and take from both parties. A cooperative, rather than adversarial, stance usually produces the best results. In the spirit of give and take, you may want to plan your negotiation strategy so you give up something you want in exchange for the seller giving you something you want.
In addition to the price you will be negotiating any number of items and contingencies. Many of the more common are: financing terms, closing date, option period, deferred maintenance issues, cash in lieu of repairs, personal property, financing contingencies such as a seller contribution to your closing costs, or the “contingency to sell your home in order to purchase the new home, appraisal costs, survey fees and/or residential service contracts – just to name a few. There are other negotiation items that you will discuss with your RE/MAX Associate. Together, you will develop a strategy that can break an impasse with an “either/or” approach. With this strategy, you give the seller two options. They can take their pick. At times it can further the negotiations if the other party understands your circumstances.
Other times it may be best to stand firm during negotiations. Perhaps you have negotiated to your best and final price. You may want to pay your cards on the table and let the other party know this. There is no rule that says you must counter with a new price.
During the negotiating process, you should consider consulting with your attorney in addition to your Realtor.
Remember, all elements of the purchase agreement are negotiable, not just the price. Buying a home is a big commitment!