Negotiate a Home Purchase Prior To Signing Contract

How To Negotiate a Home Purchase Prior To Signing Contract

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

This guide covers how to negotiate a home purchase prior to signing a contract. How to negotiate a home purchase prior to signing a contract is important so homebuyers get the best deal possible under the circumstances. There are ways how to negotiate a home purchase. Negotiating a home purchase before signing a contract is an important step in home buying. Here are some steps to help you negotiate effectively:

Homebuyers should do due diligence prior to shopping for homes in a particular market area. Some markets are so hot that it is difficult to negotiate due to multiple offers. 

In many housing markets, the demand for homes far exceeds the inventory of homes. Yet other markets, you can do some serious negotiating where buyers can come out way ahead. Some homebuyers are cash buyers. Most sellers prefer cash buyers with little to no contingencies as possible. In this blog, we will show home buyers how to negotiate a home purchase prior to signing a home purchase contract. In this article, we will discuss and cover how to negotiate a home purchase prior to signing contract.

The First Steps To Take on How To Negotiate a Home Purchase

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Home sellers want the best price for their homes. They also want to make sure there are no stress and hiccups in the mortgage process. Homebuyers want the lowest price on their home purchase. Although buyers may want the lowest price possible, you do not want to turn off the home sellers with a lowball offer.

Many bottom feeder purchase offers to offend the home seller and the sellers want nothing to do with a bottom feeder. Negotiation is a process.

The home seller needs to trust the homebuyers that they are serious and qualified to purchase their home. They want a perfect home that is maintenance-free and move-in ready condition. The first step on how to negotiate a home purchase is to be ready and convince the home seller you are the best and most qualified home buyer.

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Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Before you start negotiating, knowing how much you can afford is essential. After getting qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage, determine your budget and show sellers you are a serious buyer. Research property values, and the competitive landscape. This information will help you make informed decisions during negotiations.

Hire a real estate agent who has experience in negotiating and can provide valuable insights into the local market. They can also help you draft and present offers.

Identify your priorities and preferences. What features of the home are most important to you? Are there specific terms or conditions that you must have? Knowing your priorities will guide your negotiations. Start with an initial offer based on market research and your budget. It should be competitive but low enough that it offends the seller. Be prepared for counteroffers.

Be Ready to Compromise

Negotiations often involve compromise. Be prepared to give and take. You may not get everything you want, but aim for a win-win situation for you and the seller.  Contingencies in your offer can protect you during negotiations. Common contingencies include a home inspection, financing, and appraisal contingency.

Effective communication is crucial. Clearly express your expectations, concerns, and reasons for your offer. Be respectful and professional in your communication with the seller or their agent.

Understand the Seller’s Motivation: Understand why the seller sells their home. Are they in a hurry to sell? Are there specific conditions they want to meet? This information can help tailor your negotiation strategy. Consult a real estate consultant for complex negotiations. Real estate attorneys can provide legal advice and help protect your interests. Stay updated on the negotiation process, any changes in the market, and any relevant legal requirements in your area.

Document Everything 

Keep records of all communication, offers, counteroffers, and agreements in writing. This documentation can be valuable in case of disputes. Negotiations can take time. Don’t rush into making decisions, and be patient throughout the process. Remember that negotiating a home purchase can be emotional, but it’s important to approach it as a business transaction. With careful planning, research, and effective communication, you can increase your chances of a successful negotiation before signing a contract.

Being Prepared on How To Negotiate a Home Purchase 

Being prepared is key when you are about to negotiate on a home purchase. Prior to shopping for a home, be fully qualified. Choose a lender who has great reviews and not just close your mortgage but can close it on time. Look at their online reviews. This is important because home sellers may also research your lender as well.

The number one reason why there is stress during the mortgage process or a last-minute mortgage denial is because the loan officer issued a hasty pre-approval letter.

The stronger your pre-approval letter, the better your chances of getting the winning bid with negotiations. Your real estate agent will most likely do the negotiations on your behalf with the listing agent. Make sure you negotiate in getting a seller’s concession by the home seller to cover your closing costs.

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Closing Costs Can Be Paid With a Seller Concession or Lender Credit

Seller Concession Or Lender CreditClosing costs account for anywhere between 2% to 8% of the home purchase price. The amount of closing costs depends on where the property is located, the type of property, and the size of the loan. The home seller needs to believe and feel confident in the homebuyers to seriously entertain negotiations. The more demand for the subject property such as multiple offers and showings, the fewer room homebuyers have to negotiate.

Hiring an experienced real estate agent who knows the area and the comparable sales is key to having a great negotiator to represent you.

Knowledgeable realtors who know the area, neighborhood, and comps can often tell you about the property and the housing market in the area when pricing a home purchase offer. Time on the market and other purchase offers have an impact on how much your offer will be. If the house does not appraise out, the homebuyer needs to pay the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price. The loan to value will be based on the appraised value and not the purchase price.

Understanding The Home Buying Process

All home shoppers should be qualified and pre-approved. You never know how many homes you will visit before starting the negotiation process. There are times when a home buyer will fall in love with the first home they see. Other times, homebuyers look at dozens of homes, and may take months. However, always be ready to enter into negotiations when you find the right house. Most home shoppers will only entertain homes priced in a certain price range.

Home sellers always price their homes higher than what they would actually take. Home sellers expect buyers to negotiate. If the housing market is a buyer’s market, you will be able to purchase a home at a lower price.

However, if there are multiple buyers competing in the same house, there may be a price war. Depending on how bad you want the house, you may have to pay a premium for the house. Make sure that you try to be objective and not too emotional. Make sure you do not go over your budget. Another important factor you need to realize is what happens if the home does not appraise out.

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Common Requests of Homebuyers For Sellers

Below are typical common items homebuyers ask sellers as part of their negotiations:

  • Sellers concessions by the home seller so the buyer can cover closing costs
  • Repairs
  • Buying home furniture or furnishings
  • Extended closing date
  • Finance contingency
  • Home inspection contingency

Negotiations can be unique. Any terms can be negotiated between buyers and sellers to get the deal done. If the seller seems unwilling to budge on the purchase price, you may be able to ask for some of their furniture, closing cost assistance, or repairs to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. As mentioned earlier, negotiations are done through the buyer and seller’s realtors. Negotiations are normally verbal. It will go back and forth during the negotiation phase. However, once the negotiations are final, the terms and conditions are on paper. It will be part of the real estate home purchase contract. The team at Gustan Cho Associates works closely with realtors and can advise on negotiation tips.

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