Home sellers and home buyers expect to negotiate with each other during the sale of a single-family home, and there's a period of negotiation built into the home buying process. If you're buying a single-family home, here are some negotiation tactics that will help you secure the best possible deal through this part of the process.
Consider Multiple Available Houses
Don't limit yourself to just one house that's your ideal choice. The position that you are in when you enter any negotiation greatly influences how hard you're able to negotiate, and having multiple houses in play will put you in a stronger position. If you're locked into just one, you can't play the offers off of each other or walk away if the seller refuses to negotiate to your liking.
Even if you have an ideal house that you prefer over other single-family homes that are available, still consider a few. You can always decline the others if several deals work in your favor.
Avoid Mentioning the Asking Price
The asking price is simply the price that a home seller lists their single-family home at when they initially place the home up for sale. Sometimes the asking price is based on market research, but other times it bears little resemblance to how a market actually values a home.
As you negotiate, don't use the seller's asking price as a starting point. Instead, focus on what you believe the house is worth. You can provide comps to justify your valuation, or you can simply provide an initial offer with no explanation. It's up to the seller, at that point, to determine whether they want to entertain the offer and negotiate or not.
Discuss More Than the Purchase Price
As you negotiate with a home seller, the purchase price for their single-family home is obviously the most important point of negotiation. This isn't the only place where you can negotiate, however, and negotiating other items can result in still-significant financial benefits. For example, you might be able to negotiate:
These items might save you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
Get a Home Inspection
A home inspection will cost a few hundred dollars, but that money is well-spent if you can use findings from the inspection to negotiate. Get an inspection done, and ask the seller to cover the cost of any issues that the home inspection reveals.
To learn more about purchasing single-family homes, contact a real estate agent in your area.