Even in a down real estate market, homebuyers and sellers have more in common than they may initially think.
You make think that just because you’re buying a home (and you want a good price) that the seller has to “lose” for you to “win.” This isn’t necessarily the case. At the end of the day (if you want the home), you want both sides to feel like they’ve won.
The buyer wants to obtain the home for the lowest possible price and the seller wants to sell the house for the highest possible price. Still, this can be a process that the two sides work through with each other, not necessarily against each other.
It’s important for a buyer to remain patient. This is particularly true when it comes to the asking price. If the asking price is too high, do nothing until you speak to your real estate agent and ask them to speak to the seller’s agent.
This way you can find out when the owners are considering lowering the price and make an offer before the price reduction is in effect. If you wait until the price has been officially lowered, you may end up paying more than need be.
The initial offer that you make is very important as well. You want to leave some room for negotiation, meaning that you don’t want to offer everything you can afford upfront. Leave some room for the sellers to counteroffer with a slightly higher price. That being said, make the initial offer reasonable so that it won’t be discounted altogether.
If the initial offer is too low, the sellers may come to the conclusion that that is all you can afford so they won’t bother with a counteroffer. If the offer is reasonable, it will make the sellers more inclined to come to a decision that is mutually acceptable.
Buyers should also not see the sellers as their opponent. There are other areas than price that will need to be considered when making an offer. For instance, if the sellers are looking for a quick close, they may be willing to give the house for a better price in exchange for a speedy sell.
The same principle comes into play here as well. Don’t offer everything you have upfront. If you feel that you may need the offer of a speedy close to get something in exchange, you may want to withhold this information until the time is right instead of offering it from the very beginning.
And if it comes time to close and you are still splitting hairs with the seller over the price, offer to split the difference. This is very often agreeable to both parties and will help speed the closing process along.