Everything in life is negotiable. However, often times fear will inhibit a new investor or a first-time homebuyer from initiating a negotiation with the seller. Negotiations shouldn’t be scary or feel like a game of trickery. It should be focused on building a relationship, speaking honestly, and coming to a mutual agreement.
You should never wait too long to start the negotiation process. Desirable homes will not sit on the market for very long; so a little hesitation can really hurt you. Be confident in your decision and in your offer. The negotiation stage is definitely where you will want to seek professional help.
Sales Contract Negotiable Items:
Inspection Contingency– if the property has a lot of damage or needs a lot of repairs, you can ask the seller to make the repairs or they can give you a credit that is deducted from the purchase price.
Appraisal Contingency– this will allow the buyer to cancel the contract in the chance that the bank’s appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price. The buyer can ask for a discount if the appraisal comes in too low.
Mortgage Financing Contingency– allows the buyer to cancel the contract in the even they are unable to obtain a mortgage.
Closing Costs– sellers are becoming more and more likely to pay closing costs if it is a buyers market.
Personal Property– Furniture, appliances – anything that is difficult to remove from the home can be negotiated into being included in the purchase price.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
An agent can prepare you for what is going to happen, and help fight for you at the table. Beware of hiring the wrong agent. You don’t want to have the “pushover” agent when the seller has the “hard-nosed” agent. Ask your potential agents what their plan is for the negotiation phases of the purchase and let them know what you expect as well. In most states you may even be required to have an attorney or closing agent present to help you navigate the process.