As a buyer or seller, the ability to negotiate favorable terms is always an important aspect of any real estate transaction. However, there are three basic kinds of markets: buyers, sellers and balanced. The strategy used will depend upon the kind of a market we’re experiencing.
During recessionary times real estate turns into a buyer’s market. During such times, buyers have the upper hand in negotiating a sweet deal, as sellers court buyers with lower prices and a variety of incentives to compete for the smaller pool of active buyers. However, here in our January 2015 Front Range market, the tables have turned, and we’re operating in more of a seller’s market. Although buyers don’t carry the clout they did a few years ago, employing successful buyer strategies will improve the odds of getting the house they want and avoiding a bidding war. Here are a few of the most important factors buyers should consider:
1. Be prepared to move quickly by having your financing approved.
2. Be informed by working with a real estate professional (hopefully me) who can not just write a contract, but is a good negotiator and can determine ways to modify the offer to satisfy the seller’s needs.
3. Be flexible to the seller’s time table for a closing date.
4. Be generous by considering a larger earnest money deposit to show you’re a serious buyer.
5. Be reasonable by sticking to standard contingencies (financing, appraisal and inspections).
6. Be part of a team (an agent, loan officer, inspector, title company, warranty company) because they will help you navigate the waters quickly and safely.
Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking the seller to include the appliances, the play set, area rugs and such, be forewarned: in a seller’s market, the more contingencies you ask for and the more complicated you offer is, the less likely your offer will be accepted. This is especially true if the home is in great condition. As your agent I can help you be well prepared, and that will increase the odds of getting what you want. I also can bring to the table the reliable expertise of other industry specialists whose proficiency in loans, inspections, titles, etc will also help make your real estate transaction a seamless and enjoyable experience.