Buyers Tips

You want to make every dollar count in the purchase of your home. And one way to make it happen is to employ sound negotiating tactics that make a difference between small cents and dynamic dollars.


Boca RatonSo let's cover steps you can take to negotiate a fair price with sellers and not leave money on the table. It's perceived that price is often a major concern with sellers. In fact, a common seller's lament is "We have to get our price because.." (I'm sure you can fill in the blank with statements you've heard).


But it's really not the highest price sellers are after---it's the greatest net proceeds from the sale. "Net" is determined by subtracting the seller's closing costs and any outstanding loans, liens and other financial encumbrances from the sales price. For example, you might lower your offered price by $2,500, but show the seller that by not having to pay discount points and heavy closing costs, she's actually netting more than she would with a full-price offer! Bottom line: It's the net amount of proceeds the seller walks away from closing table with that counts.

A second way home buyers lose out when negotiating the purchase price is to make a low, often ridiculous first offer. Yes, I know, sellers sometimes do take less (even though it's done far less often in the today's strong seller's market.) Put yourself in the seller's position. How happy would you be in continuing negotiations with a buyer who had just insulted you and your property?


First offers set the stage for all other negotiations that follow. In fact, the seller may become enraged and refuse to make any counter offer back to you. Or if there is a counter offer, the seller might turn the tables and insult you by asking for a price higher than what the property's listed for. (Yes, this does happen in a hot sellers' market!) If you do make a lesser offer, be prepared to defend why such as repairs to be made, etc. Sellers will be more willing to listen to a price cut if it's rationale and fair.


One last tip---earnest money does talk. When evaluating two offers side-by-side, the one bearing the heftiest amount of earnest money/good faith deposit gives the perception that the buyer is more serious about the property and is perhaps a better financial risk (even if it isn't true!) This is an important tactic in a seller's market where many buyers are vying for relatively few properties with multiple offers to the seller simultaneously.

When it comes to negotiating the purchase price of your home, neither buyer nor seller get to win all of the marbles! Decide how important purchase price is to you and negotiate with that priority in mind.


Sellers Tips

1. First Impressions Last

Buyers want to inspect your house and neighborhood for the things that are important to them. Buyers always over estimate the cost of painting and repairs. It is always  preferable that you prepare your home to look its best resulting in a faster sale at a higher price. Leave your house and trust your professional Realtor to show and sell it for you.


2. The Front View Greets the Buyer

Make sure it is inviting. Keep your lawn well manicured and your gutters cleaned. Power washing the house, sidewalks, decks and driveways will greatly improve curb appeal. A new coat of paint on the front door and porch rails will give your entrance a fresh look!


3. Dust & Dirt Reduce Appeal

Inspect for cobwebs in the corners, dusty ceiling fans, dirty baseboards and carpets. A small investment in time and good cleaning will make your home look its best and give the greatest return.


4. Make Rooms Look Larger

Remove excess furniture, pictures and posters. Neat, orderly rooms and closets will make rooms look larger!


5. Soft Music and Sweet Aromas are Inviting

Have the intercom or stereo tuned to a station of soft background music. Scented candles and potpourri give the home a pleasant aroma.


6. Kitchens and Bathrooms Sell Homes

Check and repair caulking around tubs, showers, sinks and countertops. Remove as much from countertops as possible and place remainder neatly on a tray or in a basket. Make these rooms sparkling clean.


7. Display the Full Value of Your Storage Space

Remove all unnecessary articles from your closets. Perhaps now is the time to start packing for your move. Neatly stacked boxes look much better than cluttered shelves and floors.


8. Pay Attention to Details

Loose knobs, sticking doors, dirty air return filters, ovens, and tile grout, loose wallpaper seams and other minor flaws detract from your home's value.


9. Let the Sun Shine In!

Open blinds, shades, and curtains to show how cheerful your home is. Turn on every light in the house. Make sure light fixtures are clean. When possible, wash windows and remove screens -- this can increase light by 50%!

10. Pets Underfoot?

Many buyers are very pet sensitive. Keeping them out of the way - preferably out of the house is best. Pay special attention to pet odors. Removing of pets, beds, bowls and toys will reduce pet odor and buyer rejection.