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How to Get the Best Deal When Negotiating to Buy A Home

Rhonda Duffy


The “best deal” is always subjective to the buyer’s interpretation of what a good deal is… Some buyers need a specific closing date, others need closing costs and some need personal items. How you get the best deal when you are a buyer is simple. Don’t make the seller mad.

Sellers are emotional wrecks, just like buyers. And some Sellers decide mid-stream that they are simply not going to sell to a particular buyer who has made them mad with requests that they feel are not applicable. An example of a request that they feel is not applicable is closing costs. Some Sellers realize that the closing costs for any transaction are the costs for a buyer to get a loan. As a result, they make it very difficult for the buyer because they think that the buyer must be broke if they need the costs paid for them by the seller. I agree that it is the job of the listing agent to advise the Seller that every concession is just a concession that results in a net for the Seller, but some Sellers don’t see it that way and can be pig-headed.

So, if you really want a smooth transaction, we have found after selling over 819 resale listings in 2007, make an offer that is clean. Write the offer looking for an agreement on price. Without bringing up smaller items up-front, there are fewer chances for problems and more opportunity to chunk up and reach a quicker agreement.

As a result, we have our buyer team write only clean offers to the Sellers of the listing that their buyer wants to buy so that we are assured the very best deal with the most chances of being consummated.

Here is how the clean offer works:

1. Only focus on getting a low asking price. Start at 88 to 90% or lower if you feel that the circumstances are right. You may consider putting a closing date range for the Seller to determine so that you can really get a low price.

2. Do not include any closing costs or allowances, even if the buyer needs these things. You will add these to the best price that you get and then put them in the contract before you go binding.

3. If a close date is an issue for the buyer, state that you will be willing to pay $1,000 more in the asking price if the Seller will close on that specific date.

4. Be easy on the special stipulations that are already pre-printed in the agreement. I see a lot of agents go overboard here and they really frustrate the seller.

5. If you feel the Seller is dirty and that you want the house cleaned, do not add that in the first round of negotiation, add it on the second or third round after you have gotten the best price. Simply add the concession back into the sales price or pay for the cleaning yourself, which will result in a better job.

These steps will produce a better transaction for you as a Buyer wherein the Seller will feel good that you are moving into the house that they have loved. Many of our Buyers are greeted with dinner, flowers and many more extras when they have been respectful of the Seller’s feelings and not insulted them with a clouded offer. After all, isn’t what you pay for the house the most important thing? All the other stuff can be added later, when the time is right.