Negotiating can be intimidating under any circumstances, and it can be especially stressful when the house of your dreams is on the line. If your offer to buy is met with a counteroffer, use the following tips for negotiating to help you haggle your way into your new home.
One of the key elements to a successful negotiation is establishing a trust between yourself and the other party. Just as you’re not trying to “lowball” or cheat a seller, the seller probably isn’t trying to rip you off. Whether a seller is moving by choice or by necessity, it’s difficult to give up a home; there’s bound to be emotion involved. Keep a cool head, don’t take anything personally, and try to give the seller the benefit of the doubt.
As negotiations proceed, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If a seller won’t budge on the asking price, get creative and see if he’ll pay closing costs or fees for attorneys or brokers. Some sellers may be willing to throw in extras – like a chandelier or even the Jacuzzi, so ask if they’ll sweeten the pot to make the deal work for you.
If a home inspection reveals unanticipated problems or damages, don’t panic. Ask your seller if they’ll complete the repairs before you buy the house or offset the cost by reducing the asking price. Since a seller is obligated to disclose any discovered damages to other potential buyers, they’re likely to compromise to keep your deal on track.
Of course, your finances will put limits on your ability to compromise, and you may be forced to walk away from a property if you and a seller can’t come to a mutually agreeable deal. If that happens, consider the experience good practice, and take what you’ve learned to the table next time you need to negotiate.