Negotiation strategies for homebuyers have always been a vital element of the home purchasing process. But today – with prices still increasing (sometimes at crazy rates) and with inventory still lagging behind demand – negotiation strategies are even more important for buyers to get the best deal possible.
And it is possible to negotiate terms, even in a seller’s market.
Price, concessions, closing date, inspection findings, even furniture and property contents – everything is negotiable.
Having a good local real estate agent in your corner is the best thing you can do, and at NextHome Titletown Real Estate, we are great at negotiating terms on behalf of our clients. But as the buyer, there are several things you can do yourself.
Here are some negotiation strategies for homebuyers in Boston.
Have Pre-Approval Letter in Hand
This is a must.
An easy and important negotiation strategy for homebuyers in Boston is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. You will need to include this pre-approval with your offer in order to be taken seriously. This way, you’ll be perceived as a serious buyer who can get financing, and, as a result, you’ll have more negotiating leverage.
A pre-approval letter is an obvious first step to show how much you’re approved for with a loan, but it should include the exact amount you’re offering for the house. The point isn’t to overplay your hand by showing you’re approved to borrow more than you’re willing to pay for the house. You don’t want the buyer to know that you can actually borrow more than your offer, because the buyer can certainly counter your offer, even if it’s at or above their asking price.
Leverage the Seller’s Motivation
Another of the important negotiation strategies for homebuyers involves leveraging the seller’s motivation. If you can find out exactly why the seller wants or needs to sell, you can use that to your advantage.
Always try to find answers to the following questions:
- How soon do they need to move?
- Where are they going and what will they do if it doesn’t sell?
- Are there family circumstance changes such as marriage, divorce, childbirth, graduation, illness, relocation?
- Are they already under agreement for another property?
You should also look into the seller’s employment situation and financial circumstances, as well as tax assessments and criminal records. And be sure to talk to neighbors to find out even more. It seems like prying, but you’re looking to gather information that will better assist your negotiations.
If you can determine that the seller needs to sell desperately, or needs to sell soon, you’re on solid negotiating ground. Know the value, then know the seller’s reason to sell and level of motivation and count on a discount.
You will, of course, need to lean on your agent’s expertise to look into all this to determine the seller’s true motivation for selling. To find out more, just call (617) 657-9811.
Use the Negatives to Your Advantage
Using the negatives and drawbacks,of the house is also one of the important negotiation strategies for homebuyers in Boston.
When you point out major flaws, and if there are no other offers, the seller will likely lower the price and play ball with you.
If a house has flaws that go beyond the cosmetic and will cost a fair amount of money to repair, then it can be worthwhile to ask for a lower price so you can afford to make the fixes. So be sure to mention those problems to the seller and point out how much it will cost to put them right.
The seller might be set on a certain price, or not agreeing below a certain price threshold, but if you’re able to clearly justify the cost of the work that needs to be done, your offer price won’t appear arbitrary.
People enter negotiations thinking a few things:
- I need to win this negotiation
- They are out to screw me
But often, neither is the case. Nobody wants to feel as though they got the short end of the stick, but a negotiation should allow both parties to feel as though they were treated fairly and are serious about coming to a mutually agreeable solution.
Try not to be a problem buyer, one who is too demanding and overly aggressive.
Try instead to be likable because sellers, like to sell their homes to people they like!
In many cases, selling a home is not always about accepting the offer with the highest bid. Sellers quite often want to pass off their homes to people they like because what they are selling was once their home. Especially if the home has a high degree of sentimentality – maybe it’s been in the family for decades, or it’s their childhood home and parting with it is difficult.
Put your best foot forward and come across as a hassle-free buyer, giving the impression that the whole process and transaction will be an enjoyable experience all around.
Go Easy on the Counteroffers
Don’t go overboard with the counteroffers either.
Going crazy with the counteroffers will not make you look like a savvy negotiator, but rather a problem buyer. Although counteroffers are a typical part of the process (especially if you start negotiations far apart in price}, they can in fact be overdone.
Don’t waste time by countering a lot. Start with your best offer. When you do counter, consider same-day deadlines instead of 24-hour deadlines. Act swiftly, but fairly.
Again, you’ll want to lean on your agent’s expertise to craft the best counteroffer possible.
Use an Amazing Local Agent
This is where expertise comes in.
You’re likely not used to buying real estate, but at NextHome Titletown Real Estate, we are preparing offers and counteroffers for our clients all the time.
Our experienced agents are skilled at negotiating and can help successfully navigate this minefield. In addition, we will know exactly what appeals to and will work most effectively with local sellers. NextHome Titletown Real Estate in Boston can be more help with negotiations than you can imagine. Find out today how our experienced agents can assist you. Just give us a call at (617) 657-9811 or send us a message
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