7 Steps for Buying a Home: Negotiating the Home Buying Offer

7 Steps for Buying a Home: Negotiating the Home Buying Offer


You found the home you want and now comes the third step in the home buying process: negotiating the price you will pay for the home. Certainly, meeting the buyer’s asking price can take the edge off of the buying process but other factors will weigh in including market conditions. How you tackle this part of the home buying process could cost or save you thousands of dollars.

What Type Of Market Are You In?

What is going on in your local market? Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? If you are in a buyer’s market you can offer less for the home than the seller’s price, but if you are in a seller’s market you may have to pay above the asking price especially if other parties are competing with you.

What’s In The Contract?

Your agent will provide you with a copy of the terms of the contract prior to you making your offer. You’ll want to acquaint yourself with all of the details to learn exactly what you are getting when purchasing the home.

Purchase price, terms of the sale, earnest monies required, financing contingencies, settlement and possession, a selling of your home contingency, home inspection, and termite inspection and environmental testings should all be noted. Your attorney will work on your behalf to make certain that your interests are protected.

Before Extending Your Offer

What are you getting with the home that you are buying? It should include all of the fixtures and just about everything that is nailed or bolted down. However, the refrigerator, washer/dryer, shed, outdoor furniture, window treatments and other items may be excluded, and could be pawns used in negotiating the final price.

Presenting Your Offer

Once you are satisfied that all of the previous steps have been accomplished, you can then present an offer based on the information on hand. You will present your offer to your real estate agent who will contact the seller’s agent. The seller’s agent will then contact the homeowner and present your offer to them.

The homeowner can respond to your offer in several different ways including:

  • Accept your offer as is.
  • Reject your offer outright.
  • The seller could change the terms of the contract and present a counter-offer.
  • You can then counter the counter-offer.
  • The seller can entertain a second offer.

Once an agreeable purchase price has been reached then you are on your way to home ownership. Of course, one or more contingencies could kick in otherwise the acceptance of the contract makes it a legally binding document for both parties.

Negotiating a home purchase can be accomplished quickly provided that all of the contract conditions are worked out. Skilled real estate agents working closely with the buyer and seller can smooth out any rough patches and bring the negotiations to a successful and orderly conclusion.


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Categories: Home Buying

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".