4 Secrets for Successful Negotiating

Posted on: April 24, 2014

Negotiating a home sale with a potential seller can be a difficult, confusing back-and-forth process. Both sides of the party want to “win” the negotiation, and you may find the other party isn’t as flexible as you’d like. If you keep a few basic tips in mind, though, you can negotiate a home sale that’s what you want – without alienating the seller or paying too much. Keep these four secrets for successful negotiating in mind when you’re making an offer on a home:

1. Know a Property’s Value.
The single most important factor in negotiating a good deal is to know the property’s value. You need a very firm idea of what the home is worth, and what you’re willing to pay, based on comparable properties in the market. A property’s value isn’t what the seller is asking – and it isn’t exactly what you’re willing to pay, either. It’s what the property is actually worth based on recent sales of similar properties, which usually requires both parties to meet in the middle. If you know a property’s value, though, you can make an informed decision as you negotiate.

2. Be Willing to Compromise.
Don’t be so rigid in your expectations that you can’t compromise a little. If the seller won’t budge the final $500 or even $1,000, don’t let what amounts to a few dollars a month compromise your purchase. Set guidelines for your home purchase, but don’t be so rigid that you can’t compromise if the other party is close to meeting you on the deal. Avoid phrases like “never,” “absolutely not” and “take it or leave it” when you’re negotiating.

3. Don’t Show Your Hand.
When you make an offer, act as if you expect the offer to be expected. Don’t tell anyone – not even your agent – what you’ll do next. If you offer $150,000 but let slip that you can go up to $165,000, you may find yourself paying more. Play your cards close and respond to the negotiation as it happens – don’t give the other party any leverage by revealing backups and contingencies.

4. If You Increase Your Bid, Ask for Concessions.
Your initial offer should be a reasonable but low range dollar amount – without asking for extras. If your offer is accepted, you will have saved money and you can use the money you saved to pay for the extras yourself. If the other party won’t take your initial offer, you can come back with a higher offer – but ask for something more in return, such as chandeliers, draperies, lawn mowers, appliances or even furniture. The owner may say no to your bid, but yes to your extras at a higher price. If you come back with another bid, those extras have become part of the deal already – and you can ask for more. In this way, you can leverage your offer to include extras and keep your overall cost the same, increasing the value of the deal and giving the sellers the price they want


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