Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor®
Philadelphia Main Line Homes and Real Estate
Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties
Relocation Specialist
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E-mail: jp4re@pahomes.com
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Subject: Negotiating the Right Price for A Home

Just say the word "negotiations" to many potential homebuyers and they squirm in their seats. Negotiating may seem to some like bickering or haggling over price. However, It needn't be that way at all. In real estate, negotiations should be about making certain both parties to the transaction receive a fair and equitable bargain that satisfies them. This involves settling on a fair price as well as agreeing to other conditions of the agreement that may not be obvious at first.

As a potential buyer, you should carefully evaluate the local market conditions to satisfy yourself that the sellers asking price is within the right range for their property. Even in a "sellers market," offers often come in at five percent below the asking price. Most sellers will consider offers within that range very seriously. Offers more than 10 percent below an asking price may be viewed as frivolous or "low-ball" offers.

If you believe a property is significantly overpriced, it is acceptable to offer much less than the asking price. With some sellers, they will be offended and may not even counteroffer. However many will begin to realize that their asking price is too high and respond with a more reasonable price.

Price isn't the only term of the sale that makes a difference in negotiations. A number of considerations may be equally important to buyers and sellers alike. For example, the closing time requested is an important factor. Needed repairs can become a point of negotiation. Sometimes the seller will be willing to make repairs in exchange for a higher selling price. The advantage to the buyer is that the cost of the repair is essentially financed as a part of the mortgage. The advantage to the seller is that it helps to guarantee your interest in buying the property.

Whenever you are negotiating you should be prepared to give up certain things in order to gain others. While appliances in a home may be important, they are rarely worth enough to risk losing an otherwise good deal. On the other hand, if the seller won't budge on price but is willing to include appliances, their value may be enough to save you money after you move in.

Using a real estate professional to handle negotiations on your behalf can have several advantages. First, a real estate professional can negotiate with a certain amount of detachment from the sometimes emotionally charged issues involved. Second, the real estate professional's market knowledge and negotiating experience can prove extremely beneficial. Since most sellers will be represented by a real estate professional, it may make sense to have your own professional in your corner. By taking the time to learn about each parties wants and needs, the real estate professional can help find a bargain that satisfies everyone.

Several rounds of offers and counteroffers can be tiring and test the patience of home buyers and sellers. It helps to have someone in your camp whose experience can help you to take this crucial stage of the real estate transaction in stride. When it comes to negotiating the right price for your home, experience counts.

"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: jp4re@pahomes.com. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

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