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5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers When Negotiating

Posted by lauracook on April 25, 2017
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I work with many first time home buyers, and often the thought of making an offer to purchase a home can be a bit daunting. This is understandable, especially considering it is the largest purchase many of them have ever made up to this point. While purchasing can be an exciting and stressful roller coaster, there are some important tips to remember when it comes time to engage a property.

  1. Don’t be too eager: When viewing a property, keep your “poker face” on as much as possible. Have your agent do most of the talking to make sure you are getting the full picture of the things you need to know about the purchase process for the building and what they are looking for when vetting a prospective buyer.
  2. Make sure you are mindful of the overall market picture: As always, it is best to consult with a skilled real estate professional to help guide you through what is happening in and around the building in regards to what has just sold, what is in contract, and what is currently on the market. This will help you put in a strong offer without overpaying for the property.
  3. Avoid Low Ball Offers: Keep in mind that the range of negotiability for Manhattan is around 5%. This is assuming that the property isn’t being bid on by multiple buyers. In a bidding war situation, it is best to get creative with terms and timeline to sweeten the deal for the seller. For example, if they want the option to lease back the property for 90 days after purchase, be flexible. Flexibility is key when in a competitive situation.
  4. Every move you make communicates something: It is best not to inch towards the middle when negotiating a deal. As a rule of thumb, the more back and forth between parties on the number, the less likely you will end up with an accepted offer on the property. People tend to hold out harder over a few thousand dollars than larger figures almost as a rule of principle. They think, well that is ridiculous that they can’t just come down a little to make a deal. Trust me, if you are thinking that, the other side is thinking it too!
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff:  Try to keep everything in perspective when working to get into contract on a property. By focusing on the end goal, it can help keep you from derailing over some issue that in hindsight isn’t worth losing the property over.

As always, it is best to have an experienced agent who can guide you every step of the way. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me at