Negotiation: What 2018 Buyers Need to Know

From coupons to car buying, everyone likes to save money. The bigger the purchase, the more exciting it is to feel that you have come out ahead. In the current real estate market though, is it possible? As a buyer in a seller’s market, with a shortage of inventory in many desirable regions, does a buyer actually have any room to negotiate?

You may be surprised to learn that the answer is yes. Though the market still favors sellers, home sales have actually slowed somewhat compared to last year, but many sellers have not yet realized this which creates an opening for a savvy buyer to do some negotiating.

In a market like today’s, it is wise to see the seller not as your enemy, but as someone with a similar goal to yours. You have similar taste in homes, perhaps there is more common ground to be explored. Approaching a negotiation as a battle, feeling you have to be hard-nosed and intransigent is unlikely to lead to a satisfying outcome, particularly if the seller has a property that is attracting other potential buyers. Treating the buyer in the way you want them to treat you tends to be a winning strategy that help you both come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

Even though working together is ideal, it’s important to remember that the seller’s view of the transaction and yours are quite different. You will most likely be financing your home, so whatever savings you may get are going to be spread over a long period of time, and may be barely noticeable, amounting to just a few dollars a month. The seller, on the other hand, is going to see the difference immediately in the amount of money that winds up in their pocket. An appreciation of this difference before you begin can help you understand the seller’s perspective, which makes it easier to find a middle ground.

That said, a home is likely the largest purchase you will be making at this stage in your life, and the back and forth process of coming to an agreement with the seller is best handled by the professionals. While house-hunting online has become so effortless, you may feel that there’s no need, a licensed realtor has much greater depth of knowledge of the local market and provides you with a seasoned negotiator at little or no cost to you, since the agent’s commission and fees are usually covered by the seller.

Be steadfast and trustworthy in your negotiations, once an issue is considered closed, do not revisit it. This will frustrate your seller and make them feel that you are not credible, which lessens your effectiveness going forward. In general, the rules are the same in negotiating a real estate transaction as they are in life; follow the golden rule, and have experienced, knowledgeable allies in your corner.

Setco Services is happy to be one of those allies for our home buying clients as well as realtors, sellers, and mortgage lenders. We offer a full range of title services, from insurance to custom tailored closing plans. We are proud to be the Florida Panhandle’s #1 title agency, and would love to help you find success in your journey to home ownership.

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