1. Size up the Competition
Before faxing over that offer, you will have a higher chance of getting your offer accepted if you know ahead of time that you are in competition with other home buyers or if yours is the only one on the table.
2. Do Your Homework
Have your Realtor review comparable properties in the area and how much they sold for. You don’t want your offer to be the lowest in the batch.
3. Ask Questions
Ask your Realtor questions about the home, the neighborhood, if it’s a condo, foreclosures in the building, etc. Ask, ask, and ask again.
4. Know What You Are Buying
Before you decide you can’t live without this house, learn a little more about it. Are there schools near for the kids? What’s the area like at night? Does it get a lot of traffic or noise during a certain part of the day?
5. Be Proactive
If you see a neighbor, inquire about your potential neighborhood. View the surrounding stores, shopping, access to freeways. Does it work for your lifestyle?
6. Put Yourself in the Seller’s Shoes
If you were receiving an offer on your home, would you be open to paying all of the repair/upgrade costs or would you want the buyer to contribute?
7. Create a Checklist
Create a realistic list of what you can and cannot do without. For example, you must have a room for the kids, yet a den for watching sports or an island in the kitchen may be optional.
8. Learn the Context
If you are not in competition, the home has been sitting on the market for a long time and your offer is the only one on the table, then don’t feel like you have to go over asking price; you’ll be surprised, they may consider an offer that’s below what they were asking. If possible, have your Realtor do a little homework. Are the sellers upside down on their loan or do they have a specific amount they must net in order to sell? Are they moving out of state soon and are totally desperate? Answers to these questions are important when placing an offer
9. Know the Red Flags
Is there an uncooperative tenant in the house who refuses to leave. Don’t be surprised if after weeks and weeks of negotiating they are still there. Come up with a strategic incentive to encourage them to vacate.
10. Dust off Your Negotiation Skills
When negotiating, remember it’s a two-way street. If your offer is totally one-sided, the other side may wonder why they even engaged you to begin with.
This article was written by contributor Chantay Bridges, a Senior Real Estate Specialist at Los Angeles Real Estate Now.