NEGOTIATING THE PRICE: WHICH TACTICS TO USE
The goal of your negotiation is to buy a house for an amount of money you are willing and able to pay, and if you get it for less than you were willing to pay, you have exceeded your goal. Decide upon the highest maximum amount that you can afford and do not ever offer more. If you pay more than your maximum amount, you have already lost. Depending on what kind of market you are in, strategy and tactics will vary. In a buyer’s market (i.e., there are more houses on the market than buyers looking), you havemore opportunities to succeed. You canmake a less reasonable offer, demand some house improvements, a better closing date, and even payment of closing fees by the owner, depending on how dramatically the market leans in favor of the buyer. 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 price close to or the same as the seller’s price. If he does not get it from you, he will receive another offer soon, and can afford to turn down a lower offer. It is good to investigate why the owners are selling the house. Do they want to sell it because they are moving for a new job? Are they moving soon and in a hurry (i.e., are they “motivated sellers”)? Has the property price been reduced due to an extended period on the market? In both cases it is likely they will want to sell quickly. You can more safely stand your ground if they make a counter-offer in such situations. 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. It is vital to understand that both the buyer and the seller may lose sight of 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 keep your expectations realistic. The following tactics will hopefully help you to stay focused.
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