The Negotiation Process
When you find the home you want to buy, your first step is to submit an offer. Among other things, your offer should include:
- Suggested sale price
- Any furniture or miscellaneous items you want to be included in the sale
- Suggested closing date
- Any repairs that must be made before the closing date
- How much time the sellers have to respond to your offer
How Much Should You Offer?
Counter-offering is relatively easy, because you can work off of the previous offer or counter-offer. Submitting the very first offer is a bit more challenging, though, because you have to start from scratch. How do you know how much to offer? Answering these questions will help you get started on the right track:
- How long has the home been on the market?
- Are there other buyers interested in the home?
- Is the home in good condition?
- Are there any obvious repairs that need to be made?
- Be cautious about low-balling. Of course you want to save as much money as you can on your home purchase, but if you submit an offer that's much lower than the asking price, you risk insulting the sellers.
- Don't offer more than you can afford. Submitting a generous offer is a great way to ensure that it will be accepted, but make sure you don't offer more than you have been preapproved for.
- Be friendly. In some cases, you may have the opportunity to meet the sellers. If your paths do cross, you'll want to do everything you can to be friendly and likable. Your transaction is not just financial; sellers typically have a lot of emotional attachment to their homes, and it can be hard to see them go. If you demonstrate your love for the house and your excitement to start your new life there, the sellers will likely feel better about passing the home on to you and will probably be more willing to accept your offer.
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