5 Signs That a Seller is Ready to Negotiate

As a buyer, your goal is not only to find a home that best suits you and your lifestyle, but one that you can inevitably get a great price on. 

Obviously, the lower the purchase price, the better. Any amount of money that you can save on a home purchase is welcomed, especially given the sky-high prices of homes these days. 

Negotiating is always a sound way to help whittle down the price as low as possible. It's part and parcel of the real estate game, and both buyers and sellers are usually ready for some wheeling and dealing.

But some sellers might be more motivated than others and may be more willing to accept a lower price. The question is, how can you tell if a seller is open to negotiating?

1. The Listing Description is Very Telling 

When you look at the listing description, pay attention to certain "buzzwords" that may indicate that the seller is highly motivated. Words and phrases such as "needs TLC," “motivated seller,” or “priced to sell,” are hints that the seller is ready to bargain and may be open to a lower price and a better deal for you. 

2. The Home Has Been on the Market Before 

Some listings may be going for round 2 on the market. Either they weren't able to find a buyer before, got cold feet for some reason, or simply changed their minds. Either way, a property that has already been on the market before and going for it again may indicate a buyer who is ready to bargain. 

An even better situation for you would be if the home previously did not sell because the deal fell through with a previous buyer. Maybe a deal was reached and an offer was accepted, but the home didn't close because of a condition that was unable to be fulfilled. 

Regardless, the seller may be in a bit more of a rush this time around to sell, opening the doors for you to snag the home at a great price. 

3. The Home is Vacant 

The home itself will be able to show you signs of a motivated seller. For instance, if the property is currently vacant, it obviously means the seller is no longer living there. 

Maybe the closing date on their new home already came and went, and they've already moved into their new home. Or perhaps the kids already started in their new school or the sellers started a new job elsewhere, prompting them to vacate the premises. 

No matter what the reason is, a vacant home is often telling that a seller may be open to bargaining.

4. The Home is Priced to Sell 

A low listing price may be an indication that selling sooner rather than later is a more important goal than selling for top dollar. That said, it's also important to be wary of low listing prices, as they could be a tactic to initiate a bidding war. 

5. The Seller is Offering Incentives

Offering incentives is a great strategy for sellers who are looking to find an interested buyer quickly in order to get their home off their hands as quickly as possible. They may offer things such as:

  • Covering part of the closing costs

  • Paying for one month's worth of mortgage payments

  • Throwing in all appliances and furniture

  • Offering a home warranty

Any one of these incentives could be offered as a means to attract a buyer, but they could also be a sign that the seller is more open to negotiating. 

Final Thoughts

Keep an eye for any one of these signs that may paint the picture of a seller who is open to negotiating a lower price. And as always, work with a seasoned real estate team who can help you spot these sellers and negotiate well enough to get the price down as much as possible.