It’s a little known fact, but cows, especially Square Cows, love watching HGTV. Every move is like a new chapter in a family’s life and we love seeing how their stories unfold. Selling and buying a house are activities that usually precede a move and HGTV is one of the channels that chronicles these special experiences in an individual’s or family’s life. Have you ever watched an HGTV episode like My First Place or Property Virgins and thought out loud, “That house isn’t worth $________” or “Their offer is way too low/high”. Sure it’s easy to be a backseat home bidder, but when it comes to the real thing, are you ready to negotiate a home purchase?
- Don’t forget the inspection – How many times have you watched a young first-time home buyer on HGTV eager to move into that fixer-upper with so much charm, sure it will need some paint and new carpet, but the location is unbeatable. Suddenly, the buyer is shocked when the home inspection reveals that a new $10,000 roof is necessary, the whole house will need to be rewired to be up to code, and there is the small matter of the termite infestation. Cosmetic fixes to an older home may seem like a feasible way to save some money, but what you should really fear are the things you can’t see. Foundation issues, mold, and leaky pipes may cost much more than a new floor. Paying for a home inspection upfront before you offer or setting a contingency based on the home passing inspection may save you a lot of heartache and moola.
- Don’t lowball – We all know that the seller has a number in their head and so does the buyer. A home negotiation is almost like a game to see who can come out better in the end. Your initial offer may rightly be lower than what you are willing to pay because you want to leave some room for negotiation. However, don’t go too low. You don’t want to insult the home owner and end all negotiation before the game even begins!
- Be ready to walk – It’s important to feel a special connection to the home you will buy, after all this will probably be one of the largest purchases in your life. We see it on HGTV all too often, the young wife falls in LOVE with a specific property, sure it’s a little out of the budget and it needs some repairs, but it is the ONE. If you can’t get your dream home into your price range or problems and repairs keep cropping up, don’t be afraid to walk. This is why setting a budget beforehand is necessary, when you are able to logically determine how much you can afford and are not attached to a particular property.
- Compare- This advice is so logical, you have probably heard it before! We have certainly seen this strategy used on HGTV. When determining an initial offer, the realtor will often show the buyer the prices other comparable homes have sold for in the same neighborhood. Don’t just trust the picture, since you are in the ‘hood do a drive by to get a real sense for what those other houses look like. A drive by will help you to further educate yourself and determine what a reasonable first offer is.
Do you have any home negotiating tips to share with us?