As a buyer, you obviously want to get the best deal on a home purchase. After all, why pay more than you have to? While today's real estate market is a sizzling one, that doesn't mean that buyers can't take the reigns at the negotiating table in certain cases. In fact, some sellers might be open to negotiating - you just need to keep your eyes open for the signs.
Here are some clues that you may be working with a seller that's open to negotiations.
The Home is Vacant
If the home you're after is vacant, that means the sellers have already moved out. Maybe the home they bought had a quick closing or they needed to relocate right away because of a new job that was just starting.
Whatever the case may be, the seller is likely carrying two homes - and therefore two mortgages - and probably wants to get the home off their hands to alleviate themselves of this additional financial weight. If that's the case, you may have some wiggle room at the negotiating table.
Certain Descriptions in the Listing
Pay close attention to the home's listing description. There may be specific buzzwords in there that hint at the fact that the seller is highly motivated. Of course, sellers aren't going to come right out and say that they're desperate to sell, but if you listen close enough, you might just get a sign.
Certain listing phrases, such as "motivated," "needs some TLC," or "priced to sell" are indications that a seller is open to wheeling and dealing. In that case, you might be on the cusp of a great deal.
Incentives Are Being Offered
If the seller was extremely confident in the sale of their property, they probably wouldn't have to add anything to the listing to sweeten the deal. On the other hand, a seller who is anxious to find a buyer quickly may throw in some incentives to motivate buyers to pay attention to their listing.
Maybe the sellers are throwing in all appliances, furniture, a home warranty, or part of the closing costs as an incentive. Such extras offered could be a sign that the seller wants to let go of their home and is willing to negotiate a deal sooner rather than later.
The Listing is Getting Stale
The longer a listing sits on the market, the more quickly it will be considered "stale." Homes that are lingering around on the market for longer than the average property will leave sellers increasingly anxious. If the home has been on the market for a while without being sold, there's a solid chance that you may have more negotiating power.
Usually, any listing that sits on the market for more than 30 days can be considered stale. In a hot market, that number is even lower. Pay attention to the listing's number of days on the market. Anything that's well over the average is a sign that you have room for bargaining.
The Sellers Are Looking For a Quick Closing
If the sellers have specified that they want to close quickly, you can consider them motivated. Whatever their reason for wanting to close very soon, you may have some power when it comes to negotiating on the final sale price.
The Asking Price is Low
One way for sellers to get the attention of prospective buyers is to list their home at a price that's below market value. Sometimes sellers are more interested in selling at a discount and moving on quickly for whatever reason than selling at a higher price.
Of course, you need to be careful in this case, because often sellers will list low in order to stimulate a bidding war. Your real estate agent will help you differentiate between the two.
It's obviously in your bests interests as a buyer to pay the least amount for a home, within reason. Both parties should be satisfied with the final outcome of a real estate transaction. That being said, there are signs that the seller may give that they are open to negotiating. If that's the case, you could very well be walking away with a great deal.