After weeks of house hunting, you finally found it: the dream home. It’s in the area you want, has everything on your wish list, and it’s affordable—almost. But before completely skipping over that perfect home because it’s slightly out of your budget, remember that initial listing prices are not usually firm, unless the housing market in your area is booming and in high demand. Otherwise, you could potentially negotiate a better price with some of the following tips:
Don’t act like it’s your dream home
If it’s obvious that you’ve fallen in love with the home, you won’t have the upper hand in the situation. The owner and/or real estate agent will be able to tell just how much you want that home, and the owner may not budge much (if at all) on the listing price if they think that you’ll just pay the asking amount in the end anyway. Express interest, of course, but also appear somewhat indifferent, and not that you’d be crushed if your offer isn’t accepted. You could even throw out the fact that it isn’t the only home you’re considering, and you’re in between a few choices. If the seller won’t accept your offer, don’t be afraid to walk away completely—you’ve got nothing to lose if you simply can’t afford the asking price. If you express that you’re no longer interested in the home because of the price, and you stand firm, the seller may be more willing to negotiate—especially if the seller hasn’t received any other offers.
Make the process simple
If the sellers know that the entire process and transaction will be seamless and simple from beginning to end, they might be more willing to accept your offer. For instance, offer to pay cash (if feasible) or ensure a speedy home inspection process. Anything you can do to simplify the process—whether it’s something significant, or something minor—can make a difference to the sellers.
Making an offer that’s lower than the asking price isn’t just acceptable, but it’s expected. However, you want to make a realistic offer and one that’s incredibly low, as the seller might just find it insulting. At the same time, you don’t want to make an offer that’s so close to the asking price that it’s automatically accepted when you could have possibly gotten it for a lower price. Also remember that sellers will frequently come back with a counteroffer.
Research comparable homes for sale in the area and make an offer based on other asking prices. You can also check websites like Zillow.com to see what nearby homes actually sold for recently. Take other factors into consideration when making your first offer, and keep the home’s own unique qualities in mind, without basing your offer solely on your research. Your offer might need to be a little higher if the home has upgrades and other special features that nearby homes don’t have. On the other hand, your offer could probably be lower if the home is older and outdated, or has any issues.
Settle for concessions
After all the negotiations have been done, you’re still unhappy with the seller’s asking price and they refuse to budge. All hope is not lost, and it still might be possible to get that perfect home, while still keeping it affordable and within your budget. If the seller hasn’t offered any other incentives, ask for them—these are still ways that you can potentially save on the home overall. Maybe the seller can partially cover the closing costs, include all major appliances with the sale of the home, or make certain improvements before the sale is finalized. Try to think of a few different options that are realistic and fair, and present these options to the seller.
Do you want to buy a home, but need money for your down payment? Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help if you’re receiving structured settlement payments. Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today to learn more about selling some or all of your future payments for a lump sum of cash.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.