After months of house hunting you’ve found the home of your dreams. Now comes the most difficult part of buying a house: Making an offer the sellers will accept.
Sure, if you make a full-price offer, it will help you get almost any home. But what if you want to negotiate? Will this annoy the homeowners and ruin your chances of calling it yours?
Not necessarily. Of course, many parts of the country are in the middle of a seller’s market, giving homeowners a big advantage in negotiations. But this doesn’t mean that buyers can’t negotiate on everything from move-in dates to helping out with repairs.
Never be afraid to ask for concessions from sellers. Sellers might make a counteroffer, but if you’re making reasonable requests, the odds are they won’t cut off negotiations.
Here are some topics you should feel comfortable about negotiating when buying a home as suggested by an article posted on Wisebread.com.
The first thing buyers think of when it’s time to negotiate? The sales price. Perhaps you love the home you’ve just checked out, but you think it’s overpriced. When it’s time to submit your offer, ask for a lower sales price. Sellers can reject your offer, accept it, or make a counteroffer.
If you do get a counteroffer, you now have a choice to make: Do you accept the new price offered or do you try to get the price down even more?
Never be shy about asking for a lower asking price. But do your homework first. Work with your real estate agent to determine what other homes in the area selling for and make an offer that fits within those comparable listings. Don’t lowball the sellers with an unreasonable offer; that could start negotiations off poorly. Some sellers might end negotiations with you immediately, others may play ball, according to Wisebread.com
Setting the closing date
Do you need to move into your new home fast because your apartment lease is expiring? Or maybe you’d like a later move-in date, after your kids finish up the school year. You can negotiate the closing date of your home sale.
Closing day is when you, your Realtor, and officials from your title insurance company, along with everyone representing the home’s sellers, meet to sign the papers and present the certified checks that make your purchase of your new home official. When negotiating your home sale, you can request a quicker or a later closing date, according to Wisebread.com.
Don’t be shocked though, if the home’s sellers say no way. They, too, have their own preferred date when they want to move. You might need to negotiate some back-and-forth before settling on a closing date that works for everyone, the site adds.
Cue the closing costs
Buying a home isn’t inexpensive. You’ll have to pay a lot in closing costs, the fees that your mortgage lender and other third-party providers — like the title insurers — charge you at the closing table. Closing costs can vary, but you can expect to pay anywhere from 2 to 5 percent of your home’s purchase price, according to Wisebread. com.
You can, however, request that the home’s sellers pay for these closing costs. This has become a more common factor in negotiating as the price of homes has steadily risen.
Sellers have no duty to pay your closing costs, but many will agree to pay these costs out of the profits from their home sale as a way of keeping a real estate transaction alive, the site added.
Some sellers often decide to take their refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers with them when they sell their house. But maybe you’d want those major appliances left behind. Having these appliances already in place when you move in could be beneficial to your bottom-line.
Many sellers won’t object to leaving appliances behind because they weren’t planning on taking them anyway. It’s important to get in writing what stays with the home after the sale and what doesn’t, according to Wisebread.com.
After your offer is accepted, it’s time to schedule a home inspection. An inspector will tour the home and point out any potential problems. If the problems are severe, you might be able to walk away from the sale without losing your earnest money deposit.
But often, inspectors find smaller problems with a home. It could be that a furnace is nearing the end of its expected life, or perhaps the kitchen sink’s faucet drips. After viewing your inspection report, you can request that the sellers repair these more minor problems before you close on the home. You can also request that the sellers provide a financial credit at closing so that you can hire a contractor to fix the problems yourself, the web site adds.
To keep the home closing on schedule, many sellers will agree to these requests.
Furnishings and other big fixtures
Did you fall in love with the kitchen appliances? Perhaps the couch currently taking up space in the media room is also on your list of must-haves. You can always ask the sellers if they will leave certain items behind.
Some sellers are would jump at the chance, while others might want to purchase brand-new furniture after they move, thus they won’t mind leaving behind a sofa or fridge.
When all is said and done, you simply never know unless you are upfront and forthright, so go ahead ask! Whether you are negotiating over one or all the items you see and like, do negotiate with the sellers. You could be in for a big surprise!