Homebuyer tip: Don’t commit these blunders when in negotiations for a home

Matt Wineera, AREINZ
Matt Wineera, AREINZ
Published on November 4, 2019

As a homebuyer, unless you are buying direct from the owner, you’ll not negotiate with the seller of the home you have your eye on.

That’s your real estate agent’s job. But he or she will be in the negotiations process on your behalf. So, when we talk about buyer negotiations with sellers, we’re referring to indirect negotiations through your agent, as middle-person.

Unless you’re an lawyer, a salesperson or in another occupation that requires negotiating skills, we think it’s safe to say that it’s not something you do on a regular basis.

If done correctly, negotiations require subtlety and the ability and willingness to find a win-win for all parties.

Certain negotiating tactics can railroad a real estate deal, instantly. Let’s take a look at some of these to help you avoid losing out on that home you want.

Using the home inspection as negotiations excuse

The one blanket statement that we feel safe in making to all homebuyers is that they must get the home professionally inspected. Yes, even recently-built homes.

After the inspection, the inspector will issue a report, listing all of the problems or potential problems he or she found during a visual inspection of the home.

Some of the problems may be significant but most are not. If you find the report somewhat acceptable, but would like a few items repaired or replaced, we will reopen negotiations with the seller.

This is where some homebuyers become unreasonable, using nit-picking in an attempt to drive down the price of the home.

Keep in mind that, unless the home was listed for sale “as-is,” homeowners are only obligated to remedy defects that your lender or insurer will require (typically those of a health and safety nature), those specifically named in the purchase contract and those required by law.

The seller is not required to adjust the price instead of making repairs. And, most sellers won’t even consider replacing or repairing defects that can be remedied easily and inexpensively.

Everything, however, can be done with negotiations and your choices in the deal include:

  • Asking the seller to make the repairs
  • Asking the seller to decrease the price of the home to compensate for the cost of repairs
  • Walk away from the deal

The homeowner’s choices include saying yes or no to the first two, coming up with a list of what he or she is willing to deal on, or deciding not to continue with the sale.

If you really want the home, think twice about reopening negotiations unless the home’s defects are major and will require great expense.

Insisting on making a lowball offer

We understand that you want the best deal possible, but a very low offer on a home you truly want to purchase is typically a foolish negotiating tactic.

In a buyers’ market, when there are lots of homes for sale but few buyers, you may get away with an offer under asking price. But a ridiculously low offer will most likely be treated as an insult by the seller.

It also makes you appear like a bargain hunter, ruining your credibility in the eyes of the seller.

A homeowner has several choices when confronted by a low offer. Unfortunately, many of them feel so insulted they won’t even respond.

So, instead of getting a chance to haggle on the price of the home, you’re shut out. Completely.

Assuming the seller wants to part with personal belongings to get the home sold

Sure, in slow markets, sellers may do almost anything if their home has been sitting on the market and they need it sold quickly.

But, before you demand that they leave the home’s furniture, appliances and the dog, keep in mind that desperation on the seller’s part is the exception, not the rule.

Unless expressly stated in the contract, the homeowner is selling their home, not their personal belongings.

Asking for too much makes you appear greedy – and not someone a seller is likely going to want to negotiate with.

The most important thing to remember, especially in a market that favours sellers, is that the seller may very well be in negotiations with other buyers. Go in with your best and highest offer and try to keep it as “clean” as possible.

We’re happy to show you how.

Do you have a question on the local Real Estate market, or should you spend money on a renovation of your home before you sell, or any information about a local area, just call Matt Wineera on 0274 951 536 who is always on hand to answer your query.

Work with Matt Wineera who lists and sells in the TaurangaMount Maunganui and Papamoa areas.

Check out what clients have to say about Matt

Matt continually achieves great results for Home Owners through his negotiation skills and vast real estate experience, knowledge and expertise.

Matt is very passionate about real estate and loves being at the coal face.

You can also check out, follow & like Matt’s Instagram posts and Facebook page

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