A guide to negotiating a house sale

One of the biggest and most exciting parts of buying a home or property is the negotiation process. It’s strategic, bold and a bit of a game because thousands of dollars are at stake. There’s a definite art to negotiating, and unfortunately, being polite Midwesterners who don’t want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings, Iowans are not always the best at it.

Just because you’re well mannered and polite doesn’t mean you can’t push for a better deal on a home. If you’re one of those “I don’t like to negotiate house prices” people, here are four tips to help you approach the process.

  1. Know where you stand. What is the current market? Is it a seller’s market or a buyer's market? If you’re buying in a seller’s market, the seller will likely have multiple offers, so you might not have much room to maneuver. However, just because the market conditions aren’t working to your advantage doesn’t mean you can't negotiate! Read on.
  2. Have your financing lined up. The one thing to remember is that sellers are eager to get their homes sold. Anything that makes that process faster and easier for them can also convince them to lower their asking price. The ideal situation is if you can pay with cash. Otherwise, consider enlisting the help of a reputable broker who can underwrite your pre-approval amount. This will make your offer stronger, more attractive and may give you some room to negotiate on the price.
  3. Note the seller’s need. Just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean every home is selling. Take a look at how long the home has been on the market. If it’s been there more than 30 days, it’s likely the seller is a bit anxious. Use this to your advantage when making an offer.
  4. Don’t underestimate personal rapport. Negotiating isn’t just trying to find and exploit advantages. Often, if you get to know the seller and develop a friendly relationship with them, it can help you in negotiating a price. Let them meet your family or know your plans. Many homeowners want to know their place will be in good hands, and this can make a difference when it comes to finalizing the price.

To learn more about current market trends or for help negotiating your next home purchase, talk to a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. They know the area and can show you some great properties.

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