Also, here are a few suggestions when working with your realtor:
• Do your homework. The art of negotiating the purchase of a home is based on facts. That being said, it’s essential to know market conditions, research comparable sales data and learn about the property you are hoping to purchase. Once that’s done, you can develop an appropriate negotiating strategy and style.
• Find the sellers’ motivation. Selling a home is usually not an arbitrary decision. Sellers typically list properties as the result of retirement, relocation, unemployment, divorce, downsizing, upgrading—just to name a few. Knowing what is motivating them to sell can help you negotiate a better deal, especially if there is sense of urgency on the part of the seller. For example, if a seller needs to relocate to the Mainland within a specific timeline, they might not let your offer slip through their fingers, even if it’s below the asking price. Similarly, you’re likely to have two different outcomes if you are negotiating with a seller who owes more than the property is worth—or one who has accrued a substantial amount of equity. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) often shows what a seller still owes on a property (or your agent may be able to find those figures).
• Hire a professional. An experienced realtor is also an experienced negotiator. In real estate, the best bargaining tool is knowledge of the market—which is why hiring a professional who “walks the walk” and “talks the talk” is your best bet when looking to strike a winning deal.