Of course, negotiating is a huge part of the homebuying process. I will negotiate on your behalf, bringing to the table years of experience and local expertise. There are some principles that are universal, though.
You’re in a strong bargaining position if:
•You’re an all-cash buyer
•You’re already preapproved for a mortgage
•You don’t have a home that needs to be sold before you can buy
These circumstances give you a little more leeway in negotiating. However, even if you are in a strong position, in a "hot" market, you may want to make your offer more desirable by offering more than asking price. When the market is "soft," homes tend to sell more slowly, creating a larger pool of homes from which to choose. On the other hand, when the market is "hot," there may be a limited number of homes to visit and the demand for them may be high.
Overall, here are some suggestions:
•Enter into negotiations with the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the property firmly in mind.
•Keep in mind (and add to the contract) some terms you can live without – then you can make concessions without compromising the items that are important to you.
•Always have a few alternative homes in mind – knowing you have other options will help you stay objective during bargaining and may encourage the seller to be more reasonable.
•Try to ascertain what the seller wants and needs. If, for example, the seller’s new home is not ready by the closing date, you might consider allowing the seller to rent back the home for a short time, provided your schedule permits.
•Terms may be negotiated as well as price, and the changes can result in financial savings.