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Negotiating Tips for Home Buyers

by Joanne Hiller

The real estate market experiences fluctuations just like any other industry. Currently, it is a buyer’s market, which means buyers have the upper hand when it comes to buying a home. Since there are more homes on the market waiting to be sold than there are buyers who are willing or able to purchase them, a lot of negotiating can happen and most of it is going to be in the buyer’s favor. Homebuyers will find the following negotiating tips helpful.

Leave the sellers guessing.
If you want to negotiate, never let the sellers know just how much you want to buy their home. Once the sellers find out that you have a strong desire to buy the home, they don’t need to entice you with a free homeowner’s warranty, free appliances, or a discount on the asking price.

When negotiating, name specific aspects in disrepair.
It is important to name the facets of the home that are in a state of disrepair. The current homeowners are probably already aware of these problems, but now that they know you are also aware of them, you have a bit more negotiating power on your side. Ask the current homeowners to repair existing problems or to lower the asking price accordingly. You might not get what you ask for in full, but chances are good that you will get some of it—and that’s what negotiating is all about.

Get pre-approved for your loan.
If you have documentation that you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you stand a better chance of getting your dream home. The sellers can see that you are able to get a mortgage to buy their home. This places you higher on the list of potential homebuyers, especially if no one else has pre-approval papers to offer.

Let the sellers know that you’re looking at other homes.
If the current homeowners aren’t rigid about their selling price, informing them that you are interested in another home should provide you with some additional negotiating power. In fact, provide details about the other home to validate your claim. This gives the sellers a chance to come down in their asking price or sweeten the deal with a homeowner’s warranty, inspection fees, or appliances that can remain with the home.

Entertain the notion of counter offers.
While receiving a counter offer might not be the most appealing experience, entertain the thought of countering the sellers counter offer. If you do, it lets the sellers know that you are still interested in the home and are willing to keep negotiating. Once the ball is back in their court, they can decide if they are willing to lower their price enough for you to buy.

Clean Up to Keep "Curb Appeal"

by Joanne Hiller

Whether a house attracts attention as someone drives or walks by can make or break a potential sale. A house can have all kinds of interior upgrades and renovations but may take forever to sell because of how it's perceived "at the curb."

Don't let potential buyers slip away. Impress them with a yard that says, "This is just the beginning of a not-to-be-missed property."

Clean up the clutter, daily.
Rake up dead or dropped leaves, clean your gutters, and pull weeds. Stand at the curb and take an objective look at your front yard. Are the branches of that gorgeous tree starting to curve downward? If you're unsure about doing it yourself, hire a professional to trim your trees. Does the "decorative" rock in your biggest tree well look like it doesn't belong? Then get rid of it. Is the walkway leading to your front door dotted with unripe fruit, cones or seeds that have dropped from your favorite tree? Be diligent about cleaning them up every day.

Keep your lawn healthy and maintained.
Mow your lawn weekly to keep it looking trim. Minimize dry or damaged spots by watering and fertilizing the grass on a regular basis.

Decide on a focal point.
Choose a colorful, lush, eye-catching accent for your yard. Here are a few possibilities: a shrub with brilliantly hued flowers (such as bougainvillea); a window box with cascading plants, heliotrope, geraniums or mums; multi-colored flowers lining a walkway.

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Contact Information

Joanne Hiller
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
110 Island Way
Clearwater FL 33767
(727)460-5721
Fax: (727)446-2691