Of course you want to try and negotiate the best price and terms when you are buying a house. But in order to actually successfully buy a house, you need a seller to agree to your price and terms.
Unfortunately, some buyers make mistakes that don’t go over well with sellers, and they end up with a worse deal than they could have negotiated, or even lose the house altogether. Here are 8 things you might think will help you get a better deal, but could easily backfire on you:
1) Starting With Too Low of a Price
A lot of buyers have the philosophy that you can always go up in price, but you can’t lower your offer once it is out there. They feel like they can come in with a really low number initially. They are often willing to pay more for the house, and expect to raise their offer, but when they come in too low it can get a seller so angry that they won’t budge as much as they would have, or sometimes not even respond at all.
2) Asking For Too Big of a Seller Concession
It is not uncommon for buyers to ask a seller to contribute to their closing costs. Depending upon the type of loan you are applying for, a buyer can ask the seller to chip in upwards of 6% of the purchase price. While plenty of sellers are glad to accommodate, it is still money they won’t be netting from the sale, so you need to be considerate about the amount youare asking in relation to the price you are offering.
3) Asking for a Home Sale Contingency
Unless you are a first-time buyer, there is a good chance you have to sell your current house in order to buy another one. But that doesn’t mean a seller is going to want to accept your offer, take their home off the market, and give you all the time you need to get yours sold. Most sellers (and their agents) will want to see that your house is firmly under contract and through many of the major contingencies in order to feel comfortable accepting your offer.
4) Not Being Flexible on the Closing Date
Whether you need to close quickly, or need 6 months before you can close, the seller likely has timing needs of their own. Not to say that your timeframe isn’t important as well, but not being flexible on when you can close is something that can cost you the perfect house if a seller has other buyers who can accommodate their desired closing date.
5) Asking Them to Throw in Their Stuff for Free
When you buy a house, anything that is “affixed” to the property is generally considered part of the sale. For instance, the light fixtures, toilets, and the kitchen sink are part of the purchase price, but their washer and dryer, or a cool couch that really ties the room together, is usually something the seller is going to take with them. Can you ask for those things to be included in the sale? Yes. And sellers often agree to throw in some personal possessions during negotiations. But if you get too greedy or pushy, a seller can easily get turned off.
6) Listening to Mom or Dad’s Advice
Parents usually mean well when they give advice, but when it comes to real estate, they often are not knowledgeable real estate consultants… especially if they have not bought or sold a house recently. Many of the things on this list are things a parent may tell a buyer to do, and then advise them to kill the deal and find another house to buy when the seller doesn’t agree.
7) Not Responding Quickly, or at All
Some buyers think that if they don’t respond to a seller’s counteroffer, or take their sweet time, that the seller will get desperate and be more willing to negotiate. But there is a fine line between posturing and just giving off a vibe that you don’t really care whether you get the house or not. If a seller feels like you are playing games, stringing them along, or aren’t interested enough, they can easily lose interest in dealing with you.
8) Take It or Leave It!
Issuing an ultimatum is rarely the way to go in any negotiation. Unless you truly mean it, it is a tactic that can easily backfire. Nobody wants to feel like they were forced to take the short end of the stick, so there’s a good chance they may just tell you to leave it.
Real Estate transactions are most often a complex, emotion filled, puzzle! You will want a knowledeable real estate advisor representing you and helping you navigate the homebuying and/or home selling processes. Contact us today! We can help you maximize your return-on-invetment and minimize your stress throughout your real estate transaction!