If your goal is buying a house in Houston, you know that negotiating is an inevitable part of the process. Some people are just born negotiators: they are naturally good at it, and even enjoy it. But most of us simply aren’t put together that way.
Still, almost anyone, with some knowledge and the right techniques, can be a good negotiator when trying to buy a house. And even the experienced hands can always use another negotiating weapon or two in their arsenal. Here are…
4 Tips For Better Negotiating When Buying a House
1. Don’t Be Early – Just Wait
The idea here is to approach sellers after they are worn down. Sellers grow tired of having an army of tire-kickers traipsing through their home for days or months on end. So, eventually, they’ll reach a point where they are far more willing to make concessions.
In addition, houses that have been on the market for some time begin to lose their appeal. Basically, a house that has been on the market for at least 30 days have been what is called “market tested.” If you enter into negotiations after that point, you’ll have substantially more negotiating leverage.
2. Be Informed Ahead of Time
Knowledge is power, they say, and this is no less true in negotiations for buying a house in Houston. Simply put, you want to go into the negotiations armed with more information than the seller has, especially concerning the house’s true value and the myriad of details involved in closing a sale.
For example, many people aren’t aware that they can have an independent appraisal of their own done before entering into a contract for sale. If you do this, you can discover the true value of the house – and not have to work from just the seller’s asking price. An independent appraisal will also help you learn more about the prospective property in general, as well as something about the neighborhood where it is located.
3. Be Bold and Aggressive When Buying a House
Obviously, a good negotiator isn’t a pushover. But a good strategy is to take it a step further and become a little aggressive in your negotiations when buying a house in Houston. And this applies especially to your initial bid.
You could, for example, make your bid 10% below what you’re actually willing to pay. This means that negotiations will then have a starting point and will revolve around your bid and not the asking price. Also, if you’re an established buyer and have some financial leverage, you could offer more than the standard 20% down, thus getting lender pre-approval. And then you can aggressively apply this financial leverage in negotiations.
4. Display Some Empathy
Now, this may seem to contradict the tip just above, but it really doesn’t. Being aggressive doesn’t mean you have to be mean or a jerk: it just means being firm about getting what you’re after. And that still allows room for empathy – that is, coming across as so likable the seller simply can’t refuse you.
We all seem to have a soft spot for people like us, people we can relate to. So a good negotiating strategy is to try to put yourself in the seller’s shoes, striving for a personal connection. One expert even recommends writing a warm letter to the seller giving some information about you and your family and why this house would be perfect for you. And speaking directly with the seller and not relying on an agent to be the intermediary will help establish that connection. The seller will like you and will be far more amenable to your terms.
Are you interested in buying a house in Houston? If you are, we may have the opportunity you’re looking for, and we’ll be glad to discuss it with you.