With Labor Day behind us, the serious fall home buying season is upon us. If you will be scouring the market for a new residence, you are likely to be in luck: across the nation, more sellers are being coaxed off of the sidelines. According to the Associated Press, “A fourth straight monthly increase of sales in existing homes provided the latest evidence…that the U.S. housing market is rebounding…” The rise comprised “the highest annual rate since September of last year.”
With temptingly low interest rates and batches of homes hitting the market from sellers motivated to complete their sales before the holidays, home buying consumers have ample reason to think their timing is good. Once the right property has been found, success in home buying negotiations determine what happens next:
The Asking Price
When the subject property is one that has just recently come onto the market, the asking price may or may not be negotiable. The odds of encountering more price flexibility increase once a property has lingered on the market for 60 days or more: depending on their own timing requirements, sellers may be more inclined to entertain a lower offer as time passes. In today’s market, if a property falls into that category, many buyers will offer 1% to 10% below the asking price—especially if recently closed comparables provide support.
If the seller isn’t budging on price, consider negotiating through other aspects of the transaction—seller-paid closing costs, repairs to the home, moving costs, or asking that appliances be included in the deal. This won’t lower the asking price, but the resulting savings can have the same effect.
Being prepared to work with your agent by taking advantage of the research that is made available. By becoming aware of home buying conditions in each of your target neighborhoods, you’ll be well prepared for gauging the range of offers likely to be found acceptable. Is new housing construction underway that will increase the supply of homes? Are there many homes that have sold quickly in recent history? Or is the neighborhood less in demand? It’s important to understand the climate you will be negotiating in so you can land a superior home and at a superior price.
If you’re preparing for the home buying process this fall, I’d like to invite you to give me a call to discuss current and upcoming inventory. We can set out a home buying strategy that you feel comfortable with—one that puts you in your next home!