Remember, the goal of your negotiation is to buy a house for the amount of money you are willing to pay. Think of the highest maximum bid that you can afford and do not ever offer more. It would be ideal to get an understanding of the seller’s motivation to sell.
- Do they want to sell it because they are moving for a new job?
- Has the property price been reduced due to an extended time on the market?
In both cases it is likely they will want to sell quickly. You can stand your ground if they have a counter-offer. But, when you stand ground, sometimes the seller may not sell to you and will choose to work with another buyer. It is always their choice.
If the house has been listed several times with a stable price, it is a sign the homeowners are taking their time and may be waiting for the highest offer or just seeing where the market is at that time. Typically, this type of seller is not serious enough to sell their home.
Depending on what kind of market you are in, strategy and tactics will vary. In a buyer’s market, you have more possibilities to succeed. You can make a less than reasonable offer, demand for some house improvements, better closing date and even closing fee payment by the owner.
In a seller’s market, you have less leverage, as you are not the only one in line. You are most likely to succeed by offering a seller’s price. If he does not get it from you, he will receive another offer very soon. At times, you may be in a multiple-offer situation.
It is vital to understand that both the buyer and the seller may forget the final goal: to buy and to sell. Sometimes the parties get carried away in a battle of negotiating. Lock your eyes on the ball, but at the same time be realistic in your expectations of the situation.