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How I Negotiated a Great Deal on my New Home

By Chris Bibey

Buying a homeLike many people, when I decided to buy a new home, one thing came to mind: negotiate the best deal possible. While this sounds simple in theory, if you have ever purchased a home, you know that this is not true. If you aren’t careful, the seller may end up getting the best of you. In order to get a good deal on a house, you must treat the purchase like you would any other large purchase. You must stay in control of the entire purchasing process, and you must educate yourself, even if you have the help of a competent real estate agent.

So, how did I end up getting a great deal? Here are four things I did:

1. Hired the right agent. I made sure to hire a real estate agent with experience in the area I was interested in purchasing. An agent that knows the market is one that will be able to show you the way.

On an unrelated note, I selected an agent with a great personality. You will spend more time with your agent than you can ever imagine. Find a trustworthy, professional agent with a personality that matches your own.

2. I did my homework. Sure, your agent is going to do a lot of work for you. This includes everything from finding homes to making suggestions and much more. But guess what, you still have to do a lot of work on your own. In my spare time, I compared homes online, created spreadsheets to determine what features were most important to me, and of course, took a very close look at my budget. These are all things you can do on your own. Your agent is available to help, but you can’t stay completely out of the process. In the end, it is you buying the home, not your agent.

3. Played hardball, with the “permission” of my agent. There is a fine line between using hardball negotiating tactics and being disrespectful to the seller. Since it was important for me to get the best deal in terms of the buying price, I worked with my agent to formulate a starting offer that was low but reasonable for both parties involved. My first offer was accepted, and I effectively avoided additional negotiations and counter offers. Not everybody will be this lucky, but if you are reasonable with your first offer, you are at least giving yourself a chance.

4. Added some extras to the contract. In addition to the price of the home, there are other details that can be negotiated. For example, I asked for three percent seller’s assist. The seller agreed and at closing, I received a three percent credit towards my portion of the costs. Along with this, don’t be afraid to ask for items such as appliances, furniture, and home warranties. You never know if the seller will agree until you ask!

I used the four tips above to negotiate a great deal on my new home. Have you recently purchased a home? If so, were you happy with the end result?

(photo credit:

Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

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  • Melissa

    Why do you consider it “lucky” your offer was accepted without a counter-offer? I believe the negotiation process is where fair market value is established.

    When I purchased my house, I went through several rounds of counter-offers and I believe that my seller and I only arrived at the fair-market price of the house after these negotiations.

  • http://moneycrashers.com Chris B

    Melissa – Good point! I guess by “lucky” I meant that I was fortunate to not have to endure the stress of a prolonged negotiation…

  • http://www.insweb.com Robert

    Hiring the right agent is key, as is doing your homework. If you go into selling or buying a home blind, you’ll never know if you’re getting ripped off or losing out on a few thousand extra. A home is a major item, so it pays to know what it’s all about when wheeling and dealing. Getting a family friend who knows the real estate business can really go a long way.

  • Diamond

    I am in the process of buying a home right now. I do have a great real estate agent who happens to be a close family friend. Funny, he has already spoken to be about tip #4! Thank you for these tips. They assure me I’m in good hands and on the right track. Very timely piece.

  • http://www.yourfinances101.com/blog David/Yourfinances101

    I would say homework, homework and homework.

    Also, know how to negotiate.

    It is an art, and can save you lots when done correctly.

  • http://www.rather-be-shopping.com Kyle

    Great points. I would also tend to agree with Melissa from above. If your first offer is accepted, you probably offered to much for the house. It is tricky though and there is a fine line where you don’t want to risk insulting the owner by offering to low.

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    Glad to hear your buying process was successful and relatively painless. I purchased my first home nearly 7 years ago and regretted it a month after. I had a terrible agent and feel he took advantage of this buyer. Thankfully, I am now older & wiser and am in the process of selling the same house…for much less. I picked a good agent and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.

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