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The Top 10 Tips for Buyers to Negotiate their Lowest Price

Hello, thanks for stopping by my blog today. On my radio update today I promised to give the top 10 ways a buyers could negotiate their best price on real estate. Before I begin, I would like to tell you that if you are considering buying in our area – this is the golden opportunity you’ve have been waiting to see! Builders are closing out yearly inventory (our team knows where the best deals are), the sellers that are on the market right now are not “shopping” – they are serious sellers (exactly the type you want) and finally the national press is talking up the banking woe’s – which is exactly the type of negative “hype” you want when buying real estate.

However, don’t be fooled – homes in North Raleigh, Cary, and elsewhere in the Triangle are not having a “fire sale”. Forbes.com named Raleigh as the best city in the US for selling a home. But RIGHT NOW – home buyers do have a “window” of opportunity to get in at this years low point. Make no mistake – the Triangle’s best days still lie ahead. We are a thriving, growing area – and we just broke the Top 50 US Cites in population. So buy the best house you can find in the best location and sit tight for 3 to 5 years – you are going to do very well with real estate in our area.

Last thought, I promise. Over the years soooo many buyers have come to me and said, “Marti, I want a deal”. Original, right? Hardly. Real estate by Marti says if you buy a “deal” for a number of reasons that make a home sell for lower than market value you’ll likely sell a “deal” to someone else when it’s time to unload. So don’t be fooled into buying a bad problem. Really bad choices will cost you money when you sell your home – so don’t do it. I feel another blog coming on – how about, “What NOT to buy in Real Estate – no matter how low the price!” Here are the first 5 tips for buyer negotiation.

Top 10 tips for Buyers to negotiate their Lowest Price

#1. Never make an uneducated offer. Study the house, study the market, hopefully with the guidance of a smart, professional agent. With a pro, the agent can do a lot of “behind the scenes” probing that will give you valuable information before your final approach is written up on paper. The number of homes your agent has seen and their level of experience & expertise will become one of your biggest assets. Don’t go it alone – the more “eyes” the better because this is your biggest investment.

#2. This is the “South” and I know I’ll get some “flack” about this, but here it goes anyway. When interviewing agents, ask the agent what their philosophy in negotiating will be. If they say – “win-win” – find another agent. You want an agent that is experienced with negotiating and negotiates every chance they get – for your benefit.

#3. Ask your agent what they do first when presenting your offer to the seller or seller’s agent. (Keep in mind that presenting an offer in person is much better than any other way, however, rarely done in our area). The first thing your agent should do is NOT pull out the offer. Their very first job is to build rapport.
#4. Always make sure your offers have a time limit. This will set the stage for you to maintain control and monitor what’s going on behind the scenes.

#5. “Nibbling” occurs when a deal has been reached by buyer and seller and one party keeps asking for “more” favors. Your agent should know to respond with every request for a “nibble” from the other side with a “nibble” of your own. That’s the way to stop a “nibbler”.

#6. Remember that “deals” don’t have ANYTHING at all to do with money and price. The real question is the value of the property. That is a very hard lesson to learn. I can tell you many “war stories” about buyers that let the deal of a lifetime get away because they were trying to “whittle” a few more thousand to their side. “Greed” and the thrill of the “game” sneak up on many, otherwise rational buyers.

#7. Build rapport with a cover letter. Establish an emotional bond with the seller by telling why to choose your offer. This really works. Even in our area, where offers are presented by the listing agent to the seller, it helps gain your advantage. Remember, your agent presents to the listing agent. The listing agent may want “nuts and bolts” about your creditability but they are not concerned about portraying you or your offer in it’s best light. Your agent may “say” all the right things and it never get to the sellers ears. So take it out of the verbal and put a short cover letter attached to your offer. You are assured that your message comes across to the seller. What are you to say? Try family photo’s, hand writing, and speak to the seller’s heart.

#8. Get approved for your loan upfront. Not a pre qualification letter – full loan approval. Then have a knowledgeable agent present your offer – the “same as cash”. This is equivalent to the “dress for success” rule of negotiating real estate.

#9. OK, this one may sound self serving, but here it is anyway. Do not work with a “rookie”. Why in the world would you want to use your best friend, newly licensed that could be out of real estate within 18 months to represent you on your biggest investment?

#10. Always congratulate the seller on getting a good deal! This makes everyone feel good and is a sign of respect that will come in handy when additional negotiations come up during the escrow.

That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by. Remember the young man that waited for real estate to go down in price in Raleigh, Cary, and throughout the Triangle? That young man is now looking at retirement and still “waiting” for the down turn!! God Bless – take care.

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