Negotiating House Prices: Six Tips That Can Help

by Guest Author on July 14, 2014

Negotiating a house price, when buying, can be quite challenging for most especially if you don’t have the know-how. As a matter of fact, you may end up asking yourself a bunch of questions before even getting started: What price should you start with? What’s fair? What won’t offend the seller? These and many more considerations must be taken into account before you start: which is another reason that working with an experienced real estate professional can help. But, for your own knowledge, these six tips for negotiating house prices might be helpful; at least as a starting point.

1. Be Realistic

Though it might be tempting to submit an unreasonably low offer (just to see what happens), your real estate agent will likely advise you against it. You don’t want to offend the sellers, especially if you are interested in the house. And if the house has been listed through a real estate company or agent, then it’s likely that a comparative market analysis (or CMA) was completed before the seller and their agent agreed on the selling price. If you want to save and have some room for negotiating the house price, talk to your agent and find out more about the local market, expectations, comparatives and work with them to come up with an offer that makes sense.

2. Knowledge is King

This one likely goes without saying: but being knowledgeable about other houses that have been bought and sold in the area can really help when negotiating a house price. Your real estate agent will likely share this information with you right from the get-go so that you have an understanding of the type of house you can buy, based on your budget, and requirements. They will be able to share final house prices, and insight on the buying environment you are in. And, if you are eager to get a jump on your research, you can always have a look at the real estate industry research and statistics posted by the National Association of Realtors posted here.

3. Don’t Fall in Love Right Way

Although buying a house is super exciting, you can’t fall in love right away and you need to be willing to walk away if the whole scenario doesn’t make sense. When negotiating a house price, it’s important to have your final number in mind before you start, so that you don’t end up spending more than you want to, or are willing to, in order to get the house you are looking at.

4. Keep a Poker Face

Enthusiasm is great, but it can kill a negotiation before it even starts. If you can, try and keep your excitement under wraps until after your offer has been accepted. This is part of the reason many choose to work with a real estate agent when buying, selling and negotiating house prices. Real estate agents are excellent negotiators and they understand both sides of the sales process: for them, the house you are buying is just business! For you, there is excitement and other emotions that might come into play…which makes it hard to keep a poker face that might result in a house price negotiation that just doesn’t go the right way.

5. Set the Timeline

That’s right: when you are negotiating house prices you must be firm and ready to go. Your real estate agent will advise the same way. Give the sellers some time to respond to the offer, but not too much. It’s important to make sure the negotiation takes place over a day or two to show that you mean business. Keep to the timeline, and get it done.

6. If it’s Close, Be Creative!

In some cases, the seller may not be willing to negotiate much on the house price, but they may be willing to add a few things into the deal. For example, if the price is close and it’s the house you want, then be creative with your offer. Ask for some minor repairs that might need to be done to be part of the deal, or even have the seller leave a few things behind such as the brand new fridge, stove or other appliances that can save you both time and money in the long run. Be creative, and remember, a few thousand dollars in the grand scheme of things is no reason to forego on the opportunity of being in the house you really want.

We hope these six tips on negotiating house prices helped! Good luck and feel free to leave additional tips below.

Article and insights provided by BC Alberta Movers, helping movers from Vancouver to Victoria.

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