Nobody wants to pay too much for something, especially something as expensive as a home. No doubt you have friends or relatives who always seem to get great deals. What you should recognize is that there are proven tactics to negotiations, ones you can learn that will help you get a good deal on a home. Have you ever heard the old saying, “don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach”? Very simply, it means that you shouldn’t put yourself in a situation where you’re apt to buy without thinking. This is very important if you want to negotiate a good price on a home. The best time to buy a home is when you don’t absolutely need to. You won’t be feeling pressured to get a house before you have to move out of your existing home.
When you’re not feeling pressured, you’ll be able to clearly spot a deal, and you’ll feel more comfortable walking away from negotiations that aren’t going the way you want them to. Of course, in order to spot a deal you have to know what the going prices are. If you’re looking to get the best price on a house, spend some time researching homes that have sold in the areas you’re looking at. Pay particular attention to the homes that most closely resemble what you’re looking for. Obviously, the best time to buy is in a down market such as we’ve seen in 2007 through 2009 (and maybe beyond). There are many times, though, when certain areas of the country are experiencing depressed prices. These times are to your advantage as a buyer.
When you’ve found a home you’re interested in, and you know its approximate value compared to other homes that have sold, you need to size up the seller. Is he willing to negotiate? If not, it may be due to a few reasons: he isn’t strongly motivated to sell; he’s reduced his price as much as possible already; or he’s just being stubborn. If you don’t think the home is priced fairly, and the seller won’t budge, walk away. Chances are you’ll still see it on the market months later, and the seller will probably be more inclined to haggle on price. Negotiating the best price on a home shouldn’t be a negative experience. In fact, the more pleasant the transaction, the more likely you are to get the best deal. The art of negotiating involves 1000 making the seller feel as though he’s winning, even if he isn’t. Perhaps you’ve experienced this when buying a car. The sales person is ultra-friendly, comes across as being on your side, and wants to be as helpful as possible. When you make an offer on the car, though, the sales person has to “run it by the sales manager.” All the sales person is doing is letting the sales manager be the bad guy, and letting him say “no” to your offer.
You can do the same thing when negotiating a home price. Do your best to get concessions from the seller, then say that you need to run it by “the boss?” The boss could be your spouse, your father, your realtor, or just some imaginary person you created on the spot. The point is that you want to let someone else say no to the seller’s offer, while you remain his friend. If the seller has already made some concessions to you, there’s a good chance he’ll make more to satisfy “the boss.” If the seller agrees early on to a price you think is good, don’t accept it right away unless you absolutely have to. Remember, you want to make the seller think he’s winning the negotiation. By accepting right away, you’ll make him wonder if he’s made a mistake. If you come back with a counter offer, he’ll likely think that he’s still winning, and may be open to reducing the price further. Your demeanour is an important factor in negotiations. Most people talk too much after the other party presents an offer. It’s much better to say something along the lines of, “you’ll have to do better than that,” then wait to see what the seller has to say. Contrary to what many people think, your demeanour shouldn’t be cool and collected when the seller presents his offer. A look of shock or surprise on your part can throw the seller off balance and make him think he’s made a big mistake. If he really wants to sell, your reaction may get him to reduce the price further.