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Negotiating With Sellers

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. Consider the following topics before you start negotiations:

Research the housing market in your area.

Consider these questions about the particular property and seller:

  • What is the timeframe for selling? When will the seller be moving and does it coincide with your needs?
  • How long has the home been on the market? If it’s been a long time, perhaps you need to find out why.
  • How much did the seller pay for the home and how does it compare to the current asking price?
  • Have property values improved or declined since the seller purchased the home?
  • Why is the home on the market?
  • Are there defects in the home? Does it need a new roof? Is there apparent water damage?
  • Are there problems in the neighborhood? Traffic flow issues? Vandalism, crime?

Do not give the seller personal information relating to your income or why you want to move and be certain that your agent does not reveal your personal information either. On the flip side though, get as many answers to the seller’s circumstances as you can. You have a stronger bargaining position if you keep your emotions in check, not revealing to the seller how much you want the property.

If the seller is feeling pressured to sell, use that information to your advantage when negotiating. Don’t let yourself be rushed into making concessions or a purchase that you might regret later.

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