Naturally, the price of a home is top-of-mind when we talk about negotiating in a real estate deal. And, for some homebuyers, these negotiations are critical.
But, did you know that there are other ways to bargain with a home seller other than on price? The purchase agreement is full of haggling opportunities. Let’s take a look at five of them we deal with most often.
Negotiating home repairs is something we are quite familiar with. After the home inspection, when the homebuyer receives the inspector’s report, negotiations often begin anew.
Understand, however, that no home is perfect; even newly-constructed homes can have problems. Don’t sweat the small stuff – save the negotiations for anything major that needs repair or replacement.
This is especially true if the problems are in one or more of the home’s major systems, such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing or with the roof or foundation.
We can negotiate for a price reduction, closing costs credit or for the repair work to be performed by the seller before closing. The first two options (price reduction or credit towards closing costs) are preferable, as they won’t typically delay the closing.
Plus, there is no way to guarantee the repair work, if performed by the seller’s contractor, will meet your standards.
2. Closing costs
With a mortgage comes a requirement to pay a down payment and closing costs. The latter includes all the costs of obtaining the loan, such as lender fees, notary fees and more.
While sellers are under no obligation to do so, many buyers negotiate with the seller to pay all or part of their closing costs.
It’s an easier pill for the seller to swallow if:
- Your offer for the home is at full asking price
- You intend to keep your request for repairs to a minimum. If the seller has to pay for a laundry list of requested repairs, he or she may not be amenable (or have the funds) to assist with your closing costs.
- You put some skin in the game as well, by paying for a portion of your closing costs
3. Personal property
Anything that isn’t permanently affixed to the home or land (real property) is considered the personal property of the homeowner. Personal property that we commonly negotiate over for our homebuying clients include:
- Appliances, such as refrigerator, washer, dryer
- Window coverings
- Portable out-buildings
Buyers, however, have negotiated for furniture, pool tables, artwork and even the family pet.
4. Closing date
The closing date – the day on which the home becomes yours – is negotiable. This is important to know for several reasons:
- If you are trying to time the closing of your current home to be simultaneous with the new home’s closing.
- You need more time to find another home
- You are relocating and need to be in your new city by a certain date
If your schedule doesn’t conflict with the seller’s this is often a successful negotiation.
5. Home warranty
Real estate agents have a love-hate relationship with home warranties. Some consider them useless while others love them for the peace-of-mind they offer homebuyers.
If a home warranty is something that you desire, it’s possible to ask the seller to provide you with one – at least for the first year of home ownership.
Basic coverage varies by region and company, but commonly includes coverage for:
- HVAC systems
- Kitchen appliances
- Roof leaks
While the above is only a partial list of commonly negotiated items in a home purchase, it outlines the ones we see most often.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions on this or any aspect of the home purchase process.
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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS
Jennifer comes from Platinum Drive to Compass as an experienced agent. She epitomized Platinum Drive Realty’s motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge. She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience. She often remains very friendly with her clients and welcomes the opportunity to be an ongoing resource as they settle into Westchester Living. Every step she takes will embody her core principals; integrity can never be compromised, clients’ interests always come first and character, commitment, and passion truly matter. For her buyer clients, Jennifer looks forward to the opportunity of being “Your NYC to Westchester” guide and real estate broker. For her seller clients, Jennifer is proficient at implementing an aggressive marketing strategy in order to obtain the best price possible in a highly efficient and seamless manner. Jennifer thoroughly enjoys assisting buyer clients in navigating the landscape of the Westchester residential real estate market. She is skilled at enabling clients to define where they see opportunity & facilitating the process from initial search through closing. Jennifer was awarded the Platinum Drive Star Award for Outstanding Performance in Sales & Client Services in 2014 & Platinum Drive Realty’s Superstar Award for Excellence in Sales and Client Services 2015 & 2016 for her outstanding performance in sales and client service. In addition to her passion for local real estate, Jennifer has a firsthand understanding of home renovation and new construction. Upon moving from NYC to Scarsdale, she and her husband performed an extensive renovation on their first home. After completion, they moved onto their second project in Larchmont, a full house renovation and expansion. More recently she is active with local developers who specialize in new home construction, home expansions and renovations. Jennifer has the ability to understand a home’s full potential and can help clients find or create their dream home. Jennifer was the Manager of Platinum Drive Realty’s Larchmont Office. Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University. Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane. She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale. Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools. Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families.
Professional Associations & Accreditation
Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS). Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors. Jennifer’s Website: westchesterliving.hou