The average house stays on the market for about 68 days. That means there’s a lot of competition for buyers looking to get a great deal.
For most buyers, negotiating a lower price on homes is an absolute must. However, that doesn’t change the fact that sellers want to get as much for their homes as they can.
If they’re not happy with your offer, it’s normal for sellers to submit a counter offer.
Here are a few tips to help you handle the negotiation process with those sellers quickly and easily.
Know That Negotiating Isn’t Always the Right Choice
It’s in the seller’s best interest to make a counter offer that’s closer to their asking price. After all, they want to get as much money for their home as possible.
Unfortunately for buyers, this means they may ask more than the home is realistically worth or more than you can afford to spend.
Think about the other homes on the market that you’ve looked at prior to making an offer. Are they still for sale? Could you use the time they’ve been on the market to further encourage the seller to lower their asking price?
If you’re not happy with the counter offer and don’t feel up to negotiating further, don’t hesitate to look for properties that might fit your needs better. It might take more time, but it’s always better to buy a house that fits your budget.
Figure Out How Much You’re Willing to Pay
When you first started shopping for a house, you likely had a budget in mind. This could be a number you chose or the amount your lender prequalified you for. Keep this number in mind when you start negotiations.
Now that you have the seller’s counter offer on the table, think about how much you’re willing to pay for their specific house. There will always be some features that you’re willing to pay for and others that you’d rather not deal with.
Remember, this amount doesn’t have to be what your bank will lend you. You’re free to choose a number that makes you comfortable.
Use this as your guide. If you love the house but feel that the seller’s counter offer is too high, stick to your budget. Offer an amount that’s comfortable for your wallet.
Keep in mind that the seller isn’t obligated to accept your counter offer. If they reject it or ignore it, you’re free to keep looking. You only have to negotiate with them if you want to.
Consider the Market
Ultimately, buying a house means choosing a property that fits your needs and your budget. You can find out more about the real estate market you’re in. If there are a lot of buyers looking at just a handful of homes in your area, it might be worth negotiating with the seller.
Keep in mind that more competition means the seller will likely get a better offer from another buyer. This means you’ll want to move quickly and consider accepting their counter offer.
However, if there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a lower price.
Judge the market and plan your move accordingly.
Talk with Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent has helped others successfully navigate the home buying process. Use their experience to your advantage.
The seller’s counter offer should include any repairs they’ll make before you move in and outline which closing costs they’ll cover. Since your real estate agent actively wants to help you get the best home for your needs, let them review the offer and help you interpret it. If you have any questions, get them answered before you make a decision.
Your real estate agent can help you decide if negotiating is worth your time. Even better, they’ll handle the negotiations for you so you don’t have to worry about awkward confrontations with the seller or their real estate agent.
Look at the Whole Picture
If you’re willing to negotiate the seller’s counter offer, you’ll want to start thinking about the property itself. Create a list of pros, cons, and concerns you have about the home and examine them in detail.
If there are repairs or upgrades that need to get taken care of before you move in, use these to your advantage. You can make another offer outlining the money you’d have to spend to make those upgrades.
You may also be able to negotiate a lower total price by asking the seller to cover certain additional costs rather than paying them yourself. Closing costs, title insurance, and other associated expenses get split between sellers and buyers.
If you’ve received a counter offer from a seller, there’s a good chance that you’re not the only person looking to buy their house. This means they may have other offers on the table and are waiting to see who gives them the best deal.
Be willing to negotiate quickly. The faster you can submit another offer, the more likely you are to get the house. Just remember that your offer should be competitive.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make a Counter Offer
Sellers rarely ever get the original asking price for their homes. Most know this when setting the price and they’ll be willing and ready to negotiate if you’re ready to make an offer.
That doesn’t mean they won’t counter offer with a higher dollar amount. Be willing and ready to negotiate if you find a house you love.
Buying a house is a big commitment and figuring out your finances during the process can be tough. Check out our latest posts for more tips and tricks to help you save money on your new home.