When it comes to buying a home, your negotiation smarts can go a long way toward protecting your
best interests and your cash. Here are 9 critical negotiation tips to help ensure you’re getting
the best deal:
- 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.
- 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
• Recent sold prices for similar homes
• Average difference between asking
and sold price
• Average days on market for similar
- 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 your transaction.
In addition, he or she may know
valuable transaction specifics that can
strengthen your position, like whether or
not the sellers need to move quickly.
- Bond with your bank
Too often transactions fall through at
financing. Work in advance to make
sure your deal doesn’t die at closing.
For buyers this means working with
your agent and mortgage broker to
secure back-up financing in case things
go awry with your first loan.
- Problem solve for all parties
Traditionally, negotiations were a twoway
power struggle between buyer and
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.
6. Act quickly – not impulsively
W hen you find ‘your’ place, make an offer.
When you get a counteroffer or response, respond
to it. In real estate, time is always of the
essence, and prolonged hesitation often results
in lost opportunities.
There’s nothing wrong with sleeping on a decision
overnight, if the ‘right’ move is unclear. But
keep in mind, there are competing buyers and
changing interest rates lurking, which can change
the whole bargaining dynamic at any minute.
- Minimize time pressures.
When buying or selling a home, moving deadlines
can cost you thousands of dollars and
cause you to make needless compromises
because you’re in a rush.
When buying or selling, here are a few ways
to buy yourself time:
• Plan and search early when possible,
• Locate temporary rentals, and
• Develop a plan-B for closing day in
case you encounter last-minute hurdles.
- Learn (and accept) the “negotiables”
To manage stamina during the negotiation, find
out early what is and isn’t within each party’s
Your agent can help you stay clear on this and
avoid the emotional exhaustion that results from
trying to haggle in areas that aren’t really negotiable
(e.g., the bank’s bottom line, cosmetic
repairs on most foreclosures, etc.).
- Manage your own mindset
Remember, when negotiating, the least emotional
parties usually have the most power.
The more attached you are to a particular
home, price point, or set of terms, the more
likely you are to panic or cave in on important
points, like price, unnecessarily.
Lean on (and listen to) your agent for objective
support throughout the transaction. It’s their
job to help ensure you’re making the best
business and life decision.
Jovan Hackley is Content Manager and Agent Educator with Trulia.com. Hackley manages and writes for the TruliaPro blog and travels the country educating agents on how to use Trulia’s free and paid resources to grow their business and building better connections with clients. Before joining Trulia, Jovan developed marketing, social media, and communications strategy and campaigns for statewide associations, small businesses, and a variety of locally focused volunteer organizations. To reach Jovan or any member of the Trulia Training team email us at Training@Trulia.com
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