Learning Center > Making an Offer > Negotiating


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Negotiation can be an important part of the home buying process. The buyer's agent can provide valuable experience and perspective on the buyer's behalf, but some basic principles apply.

The buyer is in a strong bargaining position if they:
  • Can pay cash for the property
  • Are already approved for a mortgage loan
  • Don’t have a home that must be sold before in order to complete this purchase

In a seller's market, a buyer may want to make their offer more desirable by offering more than asking price. When the market is "soft," homes tend to sell more slowly, creating a larger pool of homes from which to choose. On the other hand, when the market is "hot," there may be a limited number of homes available and demand for them may be high.

Negotiation suggestions for buyers:
  • Keep firmly in mind the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the property.
  • Keep in mind (and add to your offer) some terms you can live without. You can then make concessions without compromising the items that are important to you.
  • Have alternative properties in mind. Knowing you have other options will help you remain objective during negotiations, and may encourage the seller to be more reasonable.
  • Determine as closely as possible what the seller wants and needs. If, for example, the seller’s new home will not ready by the settlement date you have proposed, you can consider allowing the seller to rent back the home after settlement.
  • Negotiating non-monetary terms can result in financial savings.
Some issues other than price that may be negotiable include:
  • Settlement date
  • Payment of buyer's settlement costs
  • Payment of points to buyer’s lender
  • Repairs required by buyer's lender
  • Repairs of conditions disclosed by the seller, or determined by buyer's inspections
  • Pre-settlement possession by buyer
  • Holdover, or rent-back, by seller after settlement