The good news is the housing market is coming around, but this means that the strategies for negotiating and buying a home have changed. The "rules" that applied when the housing market was weak no longer apply and if you still try to apply them, well, you'll likely lose that opportunity to buy that dream home. It is important to understand the new "rules" when you are negotiating for the home you want. Here are three big ones in my opinion:
- Don't lowball an offer: If you don't make an offer in line with comparable sales data, you are better off asking for seller concessions such as closing cost assistance or making home repairs.
- Be realistic about the market: Real Estate agents can help educate a home buyer about the local market conditions. You want to understand the last six months of transactions and how long properties are staying on the market.
- Competition is back: Housing inventories are dropping in many areas which means an increased competition for a home you may want, particularly in short sales and foreclosed properties. This means an emphasis in knowing your financial situation, perhaps by getting pre-approved ahead of time on a loan, is important. Also as mentioned above, don't lowball an offer or you may quickly find you lose on the offer.