Negotiating tips when buying a home

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You have finally found that home that fits you perfectly. Your real estate agent told you this home has been on the market for just under a month. The price seems to be pretty fair but you want to get the best deal you can. These are some of the techniques that have worked for me.

  1. Have your agent call the listing agent and ask lots of questions. IE; What is the motivation of seller? Why are they selling? When do they need to close? Some agents will be very tight lipped about this info but you would be surprised how many agents open the flood gates and tell you way more than they should.
  2. Don’t be afraid to for a better deal. IE; 5K, 10K, 20K or more off the asking price. You also have the option of asking the seller to pay for your closing costs. These may be 2-3% of your sales price. The key to asking for a better price is to not offend the seller. This is where it is imperative that your agent has great soft skills to make your offer sound fair and reasonable. You never know what the sellers will accept.
  3. Make a nice clean offer with out nit picking minor details like closing date and escrow company. Your agent should have found out if the closing date and escrow agent is important to the seller. If not, ask for what you want. Also make sure your time lines on inspection and financing are short and doable.
  4. Ok, your offer is accepted. You negotiations are not over yet. You still have your inspection. During the inspection the inspector points out many items. You will want to make sure you ask for the seller to either repair the items that affect the performance of the home or items in it or take a fair amount off the agreed upon price of the home. A script that I use when asking for items is to say, “It is vital to my buyers that these items get repaired by a licensed professional.”  It is a hassle for most agents and sellers to go through the process of finding a licensed professional, getting bids, & to be there to let in said professional. They would much rather take a few thousand off the price of the home.
  5. There are other items that you can negotiate after the contract has been signed around. Don’t forget about lawn mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, ladders, wheelbarrows, yard tools etc. Many times it’s a hassle for the sellers to move this stuff and you don’t know if they will need any of these at there new home.

There are no guarantees you will get everything you ask for but in my opinion you wont know what you can get unless you ask. I keep surprising myself what sellers are willing to do.  

I would like to hear from other real estate agents. What are some scripts & techniques you use? I would also like to hear your stories of sellers giving away the farm. What was the most you were able to get from the seller? 

Realtor Greg   www.GregRBenson.com

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