Buyers and sellers rarely agree on the first offer on a home. In most home negotiations, the seller will reject the offer outright or respond with a counter-offer. If you’ve never seen a counter-offer on a home, it’s usually a one page sheet specifying the precise areas, numbers, or conditions in your offer the seller doesn’t accept. The seller may disagree with your offer based on obtaining “acceptable” financing or with your need to sell your home first. There’s no reason for you to accept the counter-offer terms without making your own revisions to the seller’s revisions. In fact, the counter-offer should indicate the start of the actual home negotiation process.
Home Buying Negotiation Tactics
You have two goals in home buying negotiations and, oddly enough, they are sometimes in conflict with each other:
- To get the best deal you can
- To get the house
To achieve both, you’ll probably have to make a few concessions to the seller. Before negotiations begin, think about your priorities: where you’re willing to give and where you aren’t. You need to identify what’s critical to have, what’s important to have, what would be nice to have, and what you could live without and never miss. By having this list, you will be better prepared than the seller in the negotiations.