Even in a buyer's market, it pays to be prepared. In many places around the country, including here in Oklahoma City, Tinker AFB and surround suburbs areas. The real estate market is considered "soft," with more houses for sale than there are buyers willing and able to purchase them. And while this may cause angst for sellers, it places buyers in an excellent position to negotiate a good deal.
Find out everything you can about the property. Compare the asking price with what other homes in the neighborhood are selling for or have sold for recently. Your real estate agent can get this information with a Comparable Market Analysis. Find out why the owners are selling and how long the property has been on the market. If the sellers already have purchased or made an offer on another home, they might be open to negotiations. Likewise, a divorce, death in the family or other personal situation could raise the willingness of the sellers to accept a lower offer.
Secure pre-approval for a home loan before shopping for a house. You have more bargaining power. Sellers take you more serious. Also, there's no sense in estimating what you think you can afford and entering negotiations if it's not realistic. Making sure your credit is as stellar as it can be when you start the mortgage hunt. You can get a lower interest rate. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com and get a copy of credit report for free once a year. You don't want to get your hopes up for a home if your credit is not up to par or if your income doesn't warrant a home in a certain price range.
Even with paperwork in order and information in hand, the actual negotiation moment can be intimidating. How important it is to keep anxiety and emotion as low as possible. Leave the emotion out of it as much as you can. Think of it objectively. A willingness to meet the sellers halfway can help, too. For instance, it is acceptable to offer a price from the lower range of the Comparable Market Analysis, but low-balling with an insulting figure can ruin the deal.
No one does your bidding like you do. The real estate agent puts in the official bid, but you are the one who knows what the home is worth to you. Stick with that price. Your real estate agent is your advisor, but you know what you're comfortable with. If you can't see yourself living in the home for five to 10 years, maybe it's not the best thing to do at this time. Get everything in writing. Get a good faith estimate, get closing costs considerations on paper, get every offer spelled out .That's your due diligence.
As Oklahoma City and Tinker AFB, OK is a military community, we often have many PCSing in and out of the city. Stay tune for tips on how to Get the Most for your House when selling it. If I can be of further assistance to you please don't hesitate to call or email me.