You found this awesome home and fell in love with it. However you find yourself competing with other buyers for the same property. Negotiation depends on your position as a buyer. You will have to make your offer compelling enough for the seller choose you. You can also use this to bargain for discounts. All you need to do is to know the circumstances of sale.

If you are the “first choice” buyer

You are most welcome to the seller if either you are an all-cash buyer, has a pre-approved mortgage or you do not have a house on sale prior to purchasing another home. In this case, you can ask for discounts or reimbursements.  

If the house is a “hot item” in the market and there are others vying for the house

Offer the list price of the house to beat other buyers’ early offers.  It will be beneficial to check the seller's reasons in selling out the house and if he is pressured to push the sale. Use the information you gathered to make your offer compelling enough -that the offer answers directly to the seller's needs. And when you do, there will be no reason for the seller not to accept you.

If the house remains unsold but the seller would not yield to a discount.

Emphasize to the seller that each day that the house is unsold is an added cost to the seller. Bid lower than the asking price but offer to close the sale promptly. You can do so by preparing the cash & all the requirements beforehand plus having a pre-approval. You can also offer to shoulder the bulk of miscellaneous fees, or have a reliable broker to assist with the process and make things less complicated for the seller. This positioning is also effective is the seller is divorced and simply wants to sell the house fast.

You found the perfect home, but you have low downpayment and there are others offering the seller more cash upfront

You can improve the bid by offering pay for the miscellaneous fees that the seller may have to shoulder. This costs less than putting up more cash for the downpayment. Also this alleviates the seller the burden of having to spend inspections in order to sell the home.  

If you are not the seller's "ideal" buyer

This happens when the the seller thinks that his property deserves a better deal and the "ideal" buyer who will provide him the best offer is still somewhere out there. Maybe he is looking for a buyer who would love and take sentimental care of his home. The seller is therefore willing to wait and a fast track sale is not his cup of tea. For this example, you can state how much you love the home as it is, and your plans to take care of it like an heirloom. The best is to know what the seller is looking for and what other competitors are offering and try to beat that.

In short terms, part of writing your offer also includes a study of your seller's position as well as your competitors'. This will put you in a good position as a buyer, with a win-win deal.


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