How to Negotiate with Sellers

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:

*Be prepared

Research the housing market in the target area. Once you have information about the general area, focus on the particular property and seller. Look for answers to questions such as:

1. How 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.)
2. What is the seller's time frame for selling and moving? Does it fit within your needs?
3. Are 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?)

*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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