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How to negotiate the best price on a home

Depending on the market and the seller, you may be able to negotiate a home’s price. These helpful tips can help when it’s time to buy your home.

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Jenny Rose Spaudo

9/27/2022 · 3 min read

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Key takeaways:

  • Whether you can negotiate a home’s price depends on a variety of factors, including the current market.

  • Your real estate agent may be able to help you negotiate with the seller.

  • A home inspection can reveal issues that may give you leverage to negotiate.

  • You may be able to negotiate closing costs.

You found a home you love, but the price seems a little high — what do you do? You may be able to negotiate with the seller. Here are four tips to help you get the best price on a home.

1. Work with a real estate agent.

How much you can negotiate the price depends on a variety of factors, including the current housing market and your local area. You can ask your real estate agent to compare the home you want to buy to other similar homes that have sold recently in that area (a process called “running comps”). If the price is high compared to those recent sales, you may be able to negotiate.

A real estate agent can also help you decide how much to negotiate. Bear in mind that a counteroffer that’s too low may cause the seller to reject your bid.

2. Pay attention to the home inspection report.

If the seller accepts your offer and you include an inspection contingency, you can hire a professional home inspector to examine the home. The inspector will look for major issues in the house, such as structural problems, foundation cracks, or roof damage. Consider asking the inspector if you can be present during the inspection so you can ask questions about the home’s condition.

Your inspector will likely send you a report of the findings. You’ll want to look through this document carefully to see if any issues may allow you to back out of the sale or renegotiate the price.

It’s a good idea to share the findings with your real estate agent and ask whether you can negotiate the price. You may also be able to ask the seller to cover some or all of the needed repairs.

3. Consider providing concessions.

If you can understand why a homeowner is selling, you may be able to offer certain concessions in exchange for a lower price.

For example, if a homeowner needs to move to another state for a new job in a month, they may need to sell their home quickly. As a result, they may be willing to lower the price if you agree to a rapid closing.

Other sellers may be willing to negotiate on price if you make a cash offer or waive certain contingencies. Consider consulting with your real estate agent before waiving any contingencies.

4. Ask the seller to cover additional closing costs

If the seller won’t budge on the price, you may still be able to save some money by negotiating the closing costs.

Sellers typically pay for real estate agent commissions, transfer taxes, and their share of the year’s property taxes, home insurance, and homeowners association (HOA) fees. But you may be able to ask them to cover additional closing costs, depending on your lender’s guidelines. In some instances, a highly motivated seller may be willing to cover all closing costs.

This content is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice. Opendoor always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

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Jenny Rose SpaudoAuthor

Jenny Rose Spaudo is a freelance copywriter and content strategist specializing in real estate, finance, and tech. She's written for clients like Edward Jones, AAA, Flyhomes, PropStream, and Guild Education, and her writing has appeared in Business Insider, GOBankingRates, Yahoo! Finance, AOL, and more. When she's not tapping away at her keyboard, she's busy enjoying time with her husband and family, volunteering at her local church, or listening to real estate podcasts.

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Jena GreeneEditor

Jena Greene is the Managing Editor at Opendoor. She covers real estate, personal finance, money management, and market best practices. Jena is passionate about empowering people to find their dream homes and making the home-buying process a delightful one.