Housing prices in Northeast Georgia have been on a steady rise over the last 10 years, and it appears that’s not going to change anytime soon. With more people seeking out opportunities to buy their picture-perfect home in lieu of spending another decade renting, it’s no surprise that the market is on a steady incline. However, with buying property, there’s more that goes into finding a place and making an offer, especially in such a competitive market.
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’ve been dabbling in real estate investment for years, understanding how to negotiate for the best deals is essential. Negotiation, when you’re buying a property, is often similar to playing poker. While you don’t want to take advantage of anyone or mislead them when you’re buying a house, you also don’t want to show your hand. It’s important to keep a steady mind, know your strengths, and have the support and representation that you need in order to walk away with the best deal.
Real estate negotiations can be tricky, but with the right tools and a deep understanding of the market, you can put an offer on the table knowing you have a competitive advantage in comparison to other potential buyers. Let’s review a few tactics that can be beneficial.
Know Your Limits and Offer a Win-Win Scenario
Before making an offer on a property, you should always know what your highest bid can be. Whether you’re getting a loan or planning to pay with cash, knowing your ceiling price gives you a place to start long before you even start talking about what you’re willing to offer.
When you find a home in Georgia that you want to make an offer on, keep that number in mind as your ceiling price and offer a lower starting point. Be rational in what you’re proposing, but also don’t try to cut the seller short or make them feel like you’re trying to buy their place for much less than it’s worth.
There’s a fine line in negotiations between lowballing a seller for their property and paying more out of pocket than you should. Giving the seller a reasonable number that they can come back and counter on is a tricky hill to climb. You don’t want to offend them and you want them to feel like they’re getting a fair deal. The goal is to provide them with an offer that feels like a win-win situation.
For example, if a home in Carnesville, GA is listed for $200,000 and you know that you can afford $220,000 but don’t want to go that high, try offering $185,000. While they’ve listed the property at their ideal number and your offer is $15,000 below the asking price, this gives the seller room to consider counter-offering your bid at a number closer to their desired price range with something in the ballpark of $190,000 or $195,000.
Not only does your lower off give room to negotiate, but you can utilize contingencies, inspection periods, and things like closing costs to help encourage them to sell at a lower price.
Avoid Pushy Dialect
Confidence is key in a lot of things, and while you don’t ever want to come off as cocky when you’re negotiating a real estate deal, you do want to appear decisive and direct. Try to avoid expressing concerns in a way that feels emotional or questioning. When you’re negotiating, be assertive in a hopeful manner. This can make a seller feel that you’re a friend looking to buy the place, and you have positive intentions. Keep in mind the negotiation period doesn’t end when your offer is accepted, and it can go on throughout due diligence periods, up until closing.
When negotiating, it can be beneficial to avoid making demands on things like repairs. Using affirmative language, you can eliminate misunderstandings and better communicate in these situations. For example, if you find out during an inspection that the HVAC unit needs to be replaced, you can use that to your advantage without making the seller feel that you’re taking advantage of them.
Try letting them know that your inspector discovered an issue with the unit and provide them with a quote on the monetary value it would cost to have it replaced. Then, follow up with a request that you’d like to reduce the purchase price by that amount of money, with the intent to have it replaced. Not only does this showcase that you’ve located a concern, but it also provides the seller with the fact that you’ve taken the initiative to handle the situation yourself following the closing. This will allow you to negotiate a lower purchase price and help take the burden of unexpected repairs off of the seller, which can be a potential relief.
Opt for Professional Representation
It’s never a bad idea to have somebody with industry experience on your side. Especially when it comes to negotiating in the real estate world. Partner up with a local, licensed expert to stay on top of market trends, ensure you’re doing everything legally correct, and help with the back-and-forth communication. Sometimes having an agent relay your requests can provide sellers with a pillow of comfort and it can help protect you throughout the buying process.
One major benefit of working with a real estate agent is that they’re on your side and prepared to have your back. This means that they’ll be honest with you if they think you’re not getting a good deal, and they’ll tell you when it’s time to walk away from a real estate transaction that’s not worth your time.
Looking for help with buying a home in Northeast Georgia? Get in touch today.