There is perhaps no more exciting and nerve-wracking time in the home buying process than when you decide to make an offer on a home. If it is accepted, you will be on your way to owning a new home—if not, you will be forced to make some difficult decisions.
Your REALTOR® will help you get through the process of making an offer on a home. He or she can give you advice on how much to offer and what concessions you will make. But there are a few decisions you will have to make yourself, and be prepared to stick to them.
How High Will You Go?
If your initial offer on the home of your dreams is rejected, the seller will usually come back with a counter offer. In most cases they will ask for a higher purchase price and may refuse some of the items you requested in your initial offer, such as repairs to be done to the home prior to the sale. This is a normal part of negotiations, but especially for first time buyers it can feel like a very frustrating process.
When the counter offer comes back, you will have to decide if the purchase price is one you can live with. Is it within your budget? Is it a fair market price for the home? Your REALTOR® can give you the answer to this second question, but the first is up to you to decide.
What Is Non-Negotiable?
What parts of your offer are you unwilling to back down on? If the house really needs a new roof and you don’t want the expense and hassle of taking care of it yourself, then don’t back down. It might be worth paying a little more in the purchase price with the agreement that the seller will have the roof replaced than to pay less for the house and have to do it yourself.
Decide in advance which items are completely non-negotiable, and stick to your guns. If the seller won’t budge, be prepared to walk away. As hard as it might be to say goodbye to that home you want, you have to be realistic about what you can afford and what work needs doing on the home.
It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of negotiating and the desire to own that particular home, but try not to let emotions rule your decisions. After all, once you sign those papers and the deal is final, you won’t be able to change your mind.