The Art of Negotiation…..and Why It Matters to You.

Negotiations can get tricky.  If you are the buyer looking for homes for sale in Hot Springs you don’t want to pay too much for your dream home, but you don’t want to come in so low that you offend the Seller, making the negotiations tough right out of the gate.

I have seen buyers make a low ball offer on their “buyer’s agents” advice, making the seller mad and un-willing to negotiate to reasonable terms thus making the process much harder than it should be.  Remember a buyer’s agent job is to SUCCESSFULLY negotiate you into a home that you want, at the best price you can obtain. 

Your agent should show you several homes similar in size and price to the one you want and should also show you evidence of what other homes are selling for in the area.  This will give you the knowledge you need to make the process less stressful and enjoyable.   That is why you need the comparables for the specific area that you are looking in. 

Things that could affect the price are:

  1. Lot Size.  Is there a nice big yard, allowing you to add on if necessary?  Or add a play area for the kids or even plant a garden.
  2. Condition.  Is there crown molding in the main living rooms or through- out the home? Does it have new appliances? New carpet?  These things all cost money and will be reflected in the sales price. So the old saying stays true…” You pay now or pay later”.  Don’t insult the seller that none of this matters, because it does.
  3. Location.  This is totally relative to the individual buyer in the Hot Springs market.  Some people want close in so they are centrally located to shopping, medical facilities and dining options.  Others want a certain school district, on the lake or close to a public launching ramp. 
  4. Amenities.  Does the neighborhood/condo regime offer special amenities?  Pool, Tennis Courts, hot tub, work out center, golf course?  These areas will usually bring more because not only of the perks the neighborhood offers but the strict adherence to the Bylaws and rules and regulations that everyone is expected to follow.

When negotiating, my best advice is keeping a clear head.  Make your offer based on as much fact as you can and keep emotions out until after the negotiations are done.

Investors more often than not make a lowball offer.  Sometimes they get a great deal and sometimes the sellers just won’t bite.  Investors have nothing to lose in this scenario as they are not in any way attached to the property. 

If you are not in love with the house and don’t really care if you get it or not. By all means have fun and throw a number out there.  But if you REALLY like the house and you want this home proceed cautiously.  Don’t make the seller mad at the beginning of negotiations , causing you extra stress and costing you more in the long run.

If you do plan to make a low offer, keep it clean.  Don’t go in low and ask for a survey, home warranty, high dollar repair limit, and the dog run, the bedspread that matches the drapes and the washer and dryer too…  This will irritate the seller and put them in a bad frame of mind, making them not want to sell to you at all.  Remember some day YOU will be the seller, and you will want market price and the bedspread!

Make an offer close to what you are willing to pay.  If you have seen several homes, you know how the home compares to what is out there and how much it means to you.  You will want some room for moving up, but the seller may actually take the first reasonable offer he gets, depending on how long it has been on the market.

Another point of negotiation is possession.  If you are pre-qualified and ready to buy, a quicker closing date will look more attractive to a seller.  They may be willing to take less for your offer than they took on the contingent offer they already have in place. Also allow them time to move out after closing.  Three to four days is common.  This way the seller knows they have their money in hand before the movers come.

At the end of the day it is a successful closing when everybody is happy. 

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