Negotiating Strategies In A Buyer's and Seller's Market

Right At Home Daily: Buying It: Making the Deal
by Margaret Crane for Right At Home Daily

The Buyer's Market

In a buyer's market, with more homes available for sale than qualified buyers to purchase them, buyers have the opportunity to get more for their money. Buyers will see that they'll be able to afford either a larger home in a better neighborhood or one with more amenities, such as a three-car garage or a gourmet kitchen.

Sellers are usually desperate for buyers in a buyer's market, so homebuyers can take the time to shop around and think about what they've seen before writing an offer.

In a buyer's market, the pressure is on the seller to come up with strategies to make his or her home look better than competing homes. To expedite a sale, the home must be priced well, and be appealing inside and out. The seller might have to paint, clean, do minor kitchen or bathroom work, add a family room, deck, fix the roof, replace windows and carpeting, add siding, or refinish a basement.

Once a buyer is interested, the seller might have to accept less than he or she hoped for, plus toss in personal items like a refrigerator, washer and dryer, lawn furniture, lawnmower and other lawn equipment.

In a buyer's market, a homebuyer might ask the seller to finance the home (or take back a second loan), pick up discount points or other loan or closing fees, or even buy down the loan.

The Seller's Market

In a seller's market, there aren't enough homes to satisfy every homebuyer. Prices are usually sky high because of the dearth of inventory. Homebuyers typically make a fast offer - often for more than the list price - or risk losing the home to a more agile homebuyer.

There isn't much room to negotiate in a seller's market. In fact, buyers may have to make extraordinary concessions to the seller, such as agreeing to the seller's closing date, offering to waive the financing, inspection and attorney contingencies, and even allow the seller to remove fixtures from the house.

Obviously, buyers would rather buy in a buyer's market and sellers would rather sell in a seller's market, but, typically, we can't control when we're going to make the big move.

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