When it comes to buying a home, your negotiation smarts can go a long way towards protecting your best interests and your cash. Here are 5 critical negotiation tips to help ensure you're getting the best deal:
1) Set your priorities early - Knowing what's really important early on is critical to getting a great deal. Ultimately, the bar for whether your negotiation is successful is determined by what the home and contract terms are worth to you.
2) Know your local environment - The best negotiators are the most informed. To get the best deal when buying, ask your agent to provide data on these critical local factors: Recent sold priced for similar homes, Average difference between asking price and sold price, Average days in the market for similar properties.
3) Get the inside scoop - Don't make a blind offer. Make sure you ask your agent to explain market data and how the numbers relate to the transaction you are entering. In addition, she may know valuable transaction specifics that can strengthen your position, like whether or not the seller need to move quickly.
4) Problem solve for all parties - Traditionally negotiations have always been a power struggle between the buyer and the seller. Now, buyers have to consider banks, appraisers and sometimes even property associations that all have their own guidelines and needs that impact the terms of the deal. It's more important than ever to approach your negotiation as an exercise in problem solving with the aim of meeting the needs of as many parties as possible.
5) Bond with your bank - Too often transactions fall through at financing. Work in advance with your bank and if at all possible be pre-approved before you look for a home.
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