Buying a home can be an exciting process, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. It’s a milestone in your life and, of course, a huge investment, which is why you want to make sure to get the best deal possible. But negotiating the price of a house isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Here’s how to do it the right way and come out on top.
1. Get an Agent and Get Involved
People have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to real estate agents, the main one being that they should be able to do all the work for you. While it’s true that the agent does most of the heavy lifting, you should also know that their main objective is to get a deal, not necessarily the best deal.
So, make sure you set clear expectations as to what you want to be included or bargained for when buying a home. Your agent can certainly help you achieve what you want, but don’t just assume that they already know what that is.
2. Know What You Can Negotiate
Now, what exactly can you ask for when negotiating the price of a home? Here are the top five areas where negotiation is expected during the home-buying process.
Closing costs: In case you weren’t aware, purchasing a house involves various costs besides the price of the property itself. Closing costs are part of these extra charges, and they usually range between 2% or 5% of the purchase price. This is something that you might be able to negotiate, depending on how eager the seller is to get rid of the property.
Warranty premiums and repairs: One of the things you should always do is ask for a home inspection. The last thing you want is to buy a faulty house that will cause many problems and expenses down the line. You might be able to get the seller to cover some repairs after the inspection.
Dates flexibility: You might not be able to move into a home immediately after a close; this might be because you’re waiting on another house to close or because you are waiting for a lease to end. The truth is that you don’t have to wait to write an offer; instead, you can try and negotiate these dates with the seller. They might even be willing to cover some costs associated with your move if that means that you will close on the house sooner.
Furniture and/or appliances: When you saw the house, you might have taken a liking to some of the furniture, fixtures, or appliances. These items are often relatively easy to negotiate because they were purchased with those specific spaces in mind and may not serve a purpose to the seller anymore, or they may simply not want to deal with the transportation process. Whatever the reason, you have a chance to keep some of these for a very reasonable price, or sometimes even for free.
Property price: Last but not least, you can always negotiate the actual cost of the house. However, to do this, you will need to know the prices of comparable properties, what the house appraised for, neighborhood research, and such. But don’t fret; this is where the expertise of your agent will come into play.