Buying a home is one of the
most important purchases most people will make. In order to
make the right decisions the first time, potential buyers
need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting
is the homeowner selling? (If they're moving because
they find the area undesirable, you might as well.)
long has the home been on the market? (If it has been
on the market for a long time, perhaps there are negative
facts about the property that you need to know.)
much did the seller pay for the home compared to the
current asking price? (If the seller paid more, find
out why. Was it a general real estate trend, or did
property values in that particular neighborhood go down?)
is the seller's time frame for selling and moving? Does
it fit within your needs?
there any defects in the home or problems with the surrounding
neighborhood? (For example, is the roof so old that
it will likely leak during the next storm? Is there
a new construction project in the area that will lead
to major traffic congestion?)
As the potential buyer,
you want the advantage. While you want answers to all your
questions to the seller, reveal very little about your circumstances.
Do not give the seller personal information such as your
income, the maximum you're able to pay for a down payment
or the home, or when you want to move. Make sure that your
agent knows not to reveal any such information to the seller
or his/her agent.
Also, don't let the seller see how much you want the property.
If you appear desperate or overly enthusiastic, the seller
then has the stronger bargaining position. When meeting
with the seller or listing agent, keep your emotions in
Establish a Timeline
Find out if the seller needs to have the sale closed sooner
rather than later. If the seller is feeling pressured
to sell, use that to your advantage in negotiating. Even
if you, the buyer, are the one with the deadline for purchasing
a home, don't let yourself be rushed into making concessions
or a purchase you may regret later.
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