With the start of a new year finally here, you may be getting ready to make a big commitment. The ultimate fresh start at the top of your list this year: buying a new home.
The thought of that might be a little… intimidating. Not sure where to start? Here are 8 tips to help you feel confident when you negotiate for your future home.
Get to know the houses in the neighborhood—down to the houses on the street of your potential home. What price did they sell for and when? This is where having a real estate agent comes in handy. Who out there knows more about home prices, the real estate market, and negotiating home sales? You’ll want to base your offer on the home’s worth rather than the listed price, and your real estate agent will really be able to help out with that.
Ask your agent for a copy of a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on the home and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) information on comparable homes. This will help you when you make your first offer and educate you on the price range of homes similar to the type of home you’re looking at.
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have about the home. This can have a great effect on when and how you move into the house if your offer is accepted, and can also effect your offer.
Don’t risk miscommunication. There are legal matters and some terminology you won’t know or understand, but your agent will. Tell your real estate agent what you want to know and they will get an explanation from the Seller.
Speaking with a lender and having them provide a pre-qualification letter not only makes an offer stronger, but it will also help you be confident that you are searching in the right price range. You don’t want to find the perfect house and then realize you can’t afford it.
The lender can also provide you with how much money you will need for closing costs and tell you about special programs for first-time homebuyers or veterans. All of this information will be extremely helpful during the negotiation process.
After you’ve learned as much as you can about similar homes, the neighborhood, and the home you’re looking at, you’ll want to make an offer if you feel the home is right for you.
If you’re serious about a house, you don’t want to risk losing it to someone else. This is especially true if you’re looking to buy in an area where the market is competitive. So, talk it over with your agent to determine what your first and best offer will be.
You can make as many changes and adjustments as you want once the home becomes yours. Focus on the bigger picture: do you like the neighborhood? Is the size and layout of the home what you need? You can always paint, replace the carpeting, or re-do the kitchen and bathroom(s) later.
If the inspector finds a defect in the property during a home inspection, it’s important to know that you should review the report with your agent to determine which repairs need to be made to the property in order for you to move forward. If you would rather make the repairs yourself after you move into the property you can always ask for a reduction in price.
Remember: Most items are negotiable, the Seller is not required to make any corrections. This inspection is used to uncover a problem that is not readily apparent during your prior visits to the property.
Before you do that, figure out the difference in monthly payments on the home. Ask your agent or a mortgage professional to show you what the payment, taxes, and insurance will be on the different offers you’re considering.
You may be surprised on how little the difference it is, and being an informed buyer can help a great deal in making your offer stand above the others and securing your future home.
Lewith & Freeman has a team of professional real estate agents and they will work very hard to find your perfect home and guide you through the process.
Benchmark Mortgage is a recommended partner of Lewith & Freeman Real Estate Inc, based upon their service to other satisfied past clients. Please note, the selection of a mortgage broker is exclusively that of the buyer’s and not Lewith & Freeman nor its agents.
Kayleigh is a content writer with a BA in technical writing/literature and an MA in creative writing. When she’s not at work writing, she’s at home writing, reading, or binge-watching television shows… for research, of course. A big do-it-yourselfer and crafter, Kayleigh loves testing out projects and gifting them to friends and family—all in preparation for when she owns her own home one day and decorates with her own personal creations. Her work has appeared on The Writing Cooperative and as an Honorable Mention in East Meets West American Writers Review.