Purchasing a property can be daunting, but just like in a dressage competition, preparation can lead to success. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or it’s been a while, learn the tips that can help you when purchasing a home, and prepare yourself for negotiations with the seller. Come prepared to the home buying process, and you’ll increase your chances of success.
Find out about what comparable homes in the area are selling for, and the average price per square foot. This information can give you an idea of how fair the pricing for a property you might be considering is. Check out the area at different times of day. A dream home might not be a dream home if you can’t get out of the driveway during rush hour.
If using a loan, be sure to get pre-approved. This will ensure that when you do find the right property for you, no one else will beat you to closing. Consider the property taxes, utilities, and HOA dues.
Hire a surveyor. If you do this right away, then you will not have to worry about getting into a spat with the neighbors down the road.
Have an inspection done. In California, a common contingency in an offer is that the home must pass inspection. A third-party inspection will provide you with important information about the condition of the home, and might clue you in to issues that could actually lower the price of the home.
According to the California Association of REALTORS, home sales in LA County are increasing, and sellers are getting more for their homes as well (1). Knowing this, if you are a buyer chances are, the odds are stacked against you. Luckily, there are still several things you can do to get a better deal.
When the seller has the upper hand, buyers should be prepared to make an offer close to the asking price, unless the house is clearly overpriced. As with any house negotiation, include financing, appraisal, and inspection contingencies in your offer. Think about your offer from the seller’s perspective: is the offer fair?
You can improve your chances of getting what you want if you prepare for the negotiation process. When approaching negotiations with a seller, think about what you want out of the deal. Try to send in your agent for the crucial conversations, if possible.
If you do have to participate in a conversation with the seller and/or their representatives that absolutely cannot be left to your agent, then take some time to practice your communication skills. You want to be able to communicate your point and get the information you want without giving too much information away. Take time to practice your facial expression and voice control. This may sound silly – and it may feel silly to do, at least at first – but practicing an inscrutable facial expression and an even tone of voice could help you avoid problems in your transaction.
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