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A Guide to Home Price Negotiation Tactics

Purchasing a home can be one of the most stressful ordeals in an average person’s life. After all, it’s the single biggest investment many of us make over our lifetimes, and the knowledge that one small mistake can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in losses in the future can be quite the burden. It’s not rocket science though – the important thing is to relax and remember that nobody can force you to put down your signature anywhere. If you’re not happy with a deal, walking away can be your most powerful move, but unfortunately people often forget that when in the middle of negotiating with a hard-pressing agent.

Know Your Target

A common mistake newcomers make is to pick up any random guide on purchasing property and negotiating its price, and try applying it to their own deal. The thing is, different kinds of homes sometimes require a completely different approach, and you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the specific details of the area you’re looking to buy in. Price negotiations are also dependent on the value of the property for sale. Bargaining the price down for a Palazzo worth millions requires a different approach from negotiating the price of a $150k apartment. Study your target and know it well before initiating any kind of contact

Have Enough Time

Time is a valuable resource for everyone, and when you’re buying a home, you may often find yourself hard-pressed into making a certain decision. Experienced sellers know that, and they’ll use every trick in the book to try turning this against you. You must resist the temptation to close a “once in a lifetime opportunity” deal because it’s expiring in a couple of days, or whatever other proposals the seller makes. You’re under no obligation to seal the deal, and if you feel like someone is trying to rush you, it’s probably better to back off and try your luck elsewhere.

The best way to prevent this from happening in the first place is to ensure that you have a lot of time to carefully pick the best deal for you. When the seller knows that you’re in no rush to buy a home and could comfortably wait several months for a good deal to come along, this can disarm them quite effectively.

Don’t Lowball for No Reason

You might commonly be advised to play a hard game and start with ridiculously low offers just to force the seller into making one closer to your ideal price. Don’t do that though – it’s a sure way of embarrassing yourself when working with sellers who know what they’re doing, and scaring away the less experienced ones. It’s even worse when you’re trying to negotiate the price of a hot property, in which case the seller would have no qualms about just dropping the negotiations altogether. But on the other hand, this can also be a powerful weapon in your own arsenal.

Be Willing to Walk Away

By far the most powerful tactic you can apply – and the easiest one, too – is to simply show that you’re willing to walk away at any time, and that you’re not going to continue negotiating if things don’t go your way right from the start. It’s the seller who has an active interest in selling the house, not the other way around. No matter how unique the property looks and how closely it matches your preferences, you must make absolutely sure it’s the home you actually want – and can – buy. This takes a lot of time and research, and sellers know that. When you simply drop the discussion and turn around, you’re showing that you already have other options lined up (even if you don’t, the seller has no way of knowing that), making you far less susceptible to manipulation.

As long as you know what you want and stand by your values, you should find it relatively easy to end up with a home that matches your preferences in every way imaginable. Negotiating the right price for it might be a challenging ordeal, and it can also take quite a lot of time, but considering that the final result is something that will stick with you for many years or even decades, it’s very much worth it.

Written by Nat Sauteed

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