Even though homes sales are up nationwide (note, sales means number of transactions, not prices!), it’s still a buyer’s market out there, meaning there are more homes offered for sale than there are buyers.
Here are 5 tips for negotiating a great deal in a buyer’s market.
Ask the Seller to Pay Some or All of Your Fees.
In most contracts, fees are entirely negotiable.
Even if some fees are typically split between the seller and the buyer, in a buyer’s market you can ask the seller to pay for all the fees, including city transfer taxes, inspections and appraisals.
Request a Seller Credit or Cash Back at Closing.
Typically credits are given when repairs need to be made, needs paint or new carpet, or even significant upgrading.
However, in a buyer’s market, you can simply ask for one as a financial concession to close the deal.
Many banks allow a credit up to 6% of the purchase price.
Set an Expiration Date for Your Purchase Offer.
In order to get a faster response from the home seller, and fend off competing offers, ask a seller to respond within 24 or 48 hours of your offer.
In many cases, using a tight expiration date will get negotiations started quickly and get you a better price on the home.
Ask for a Home Warranty.
No matter whether you’re buying an older or a newer home, it can be a good idea to get a home warranty to cover appliances, the furnace or the electrical system.
In your offer, ask the seller to purchase one or give you credit so you can purchase one.
Request Extras as Bargaining Chips.
Notice fine china, a piece of furniture or a piano? If so, you might make your purchase offer contingent upon the inclusion of those items in the sale.
Even if you don’t really want those items, use it as a tool to negotiate a lower price.
If the seller comes back and says, “No, you can’t have the china I inherited from grandma,” you can counter by agreeing to forgo those items if they agree to accept an even lower purchase price.