While most buyers know that negotiating can help them get more out of their home purchase, few are aware that nearly everything in real estate is negotiable. If you’re in the market, you can bargain for more than just a lower sale price. From assistance with closing costs to an earlier move-in date, you have every right to ask for what you need. While sellers can always say “no,” an experienced agent will negotiate strategically to help you achieve the best outcome possible.
Here are five things you can ask for when you enter into the home-buying negotiation process…
1) A better price
When it comes to buying property, most home hunters are more focused on price than any other factor. To come to an agreement you’ll be happy with, your agent will make a strong case on your behalf using all of the information at their disposal. That includes everything from recent sold prices for homes like the one you want to buy, to an in-depth knowledge of seller psychology. Negotiations can make a significant difference to your bottom line, so don’t underestimate the value of a strong strategy.
2) Help with closing costs
From land transfer tax to property valuation fees, there are a number of costs that buyers commonly have to pay at closing. The amount varies depending on circumstances, but it’s usually somewhere around 5 per cent of your total purchase price. Fortunately, you can ask a seller to pay all or a portion of your closing costs during negotiations. They may not agree to do so—especially when the market is in their favour. But if they do, it could leave you in a better financial position at the end of your transaction.
3) Home repairs
Most buyers opt for an inspection before purchasing a home. If you have one performed and it turns up anything you’re concerned about, you can request that the seller pay to remedy the situation. Whether the HVAC system has to be replaced or the bathroom floor needs to be fixed, you can ask to have the work done. If the damage is significant, you can also negotiate for a lower sale price—and get the repairs done yourself later on. Whether the issue you’re dealing with is big or small, your agent can help you decide when to overlook it, when to negotiate, and when it might be time to walk away.
4) A convenient timeline
Maybe you’re eager to move into your new home as soon as possible. Perhaps you need to get out of your current lease or tie up other loose ends before you can take the next step. Either way, don’t assume that you have to adhere to a seller’s timeline. You may be able to negotiate successfully for more or less time, depending on what works for you. You can even ask the seller to chip in so you can get out of your lease quicker, if they want to fast track the process.
5) Home furnishings
It comes as a surprise to many buyers, but you can ask to have existing furnishing included in your deal. If the seller’s couch and loveseat look absolutely perfect in the living room, they may be willing to part with it when they move. While light fixtures are typically considered to be part of a home (and part of what a buyer is purchasing), a custom chandelier may be a different story. Once again, you can request that the sellers leave it behind. That’s the beauty of negotiations—it never hurts to ask!
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