Columbia Real Estate Search

What You Can Negotiate


26 Negotiation Strategies for Home Sellers


Whether you're buying your first home or your 10th, there's one thing we all think about when it comes time to negotiate the deal: finessing that purchase price down as much as possible. Of course, price is important when you're buying your dream home. But in fact, it's not the only negotiable part of the sale! There are plenty of other ways to haggle aside from list price to get what you truly want.

So, what all can you negotiate?

1. Repairs: In a competitive market, buyers might be tempted to forgo a home inspection to speed up the process and appeal to sellers. But that’s a risky idea—you don’t want to be blindsided by unexpected repairs once you move in. Better to move forward with the home inspection, and then use the findings as a potential bargaining chip.


                                                                               If your inspection reveals any issues, you can ask the sellers to make repairs                                                                                                                                                      as a condition of the sale. Just remember: It’s not a given that the sellers will                                                                             be willing to take on all repairs.

2. Time to Close: If your schedule is flexible and you know that the seller’s is not, you can make your offer more attractive to sellers by being upfront about your flexibility. Paying close attention to the needs of the seller in regard to timelines and giving a little here can get you a lot on the other end.

                                                                              Remember that in most cases, both you and the sellers are dealing with a                                                                                                                                                             move and possibly another home purchase, which is a stressful situation for                                                                                                                                                       everyone involved. Making the process more convenient for the seller can                                                                    bolster your offer.

3. Closing Costs: Closing costs can be a major burden for buyers, especially after forking over a hefty sum for a down payment.

                                                                          Instead of playing hardball on the list price of the home, consider asking                                                                                                                                                                    the seller for help covering closing costs. You can also offer to offset                                                                                        the seller’s credit toward closing by offering a higher price on the home.

4. Decor: If you are buying your dream house, and it’s already decked out to your liking, it’s totally fair to ask about decor, furniture, light fixtures, appliances, or other pieces you love.

                                                                                         However, keep in mind this can sometimes complicate your loan,                                                                                       and sometimes it is staged furniture—not the seller’s to sell.

5. Home Cleaning: A new-to-you home isn’t necessarily a clean home. One way to conquer the yuck factor: Ask the sellers to pay for a deep clean before you move in.

6. Home Warranty: A home warranty can provide peace of mind to home buyers. It covers the cost to repair or replace major appliances if they break down in your new home, and it can also cover fixes to HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.

                                                                           When the seller pays for the warranty, it can be a win-win for both parties                                                                                                                                                           by providing warranty coverage for the seller while the home is listed for                                                                                                                                                          sale. This can be an effective “ask” if something has come up on the home                                                                    inspection and the buyers are leaving it to you to deal with.

7. Your Own Fees and Expenses: Buying in a “seller’s market” is tricky. When sellers have multiple bids, buyers are in a weaker position to negotiate.

                                                                        But you can still advocate for yourself by finding the best deal possible on your                                                                                                                                                    mortgage and other expenses. Start by reaching out to multiple mortgage                                                                                                                                                      lenders to compare your options and get the best interest rate. Then ask                                                                               about other fees that might be negotiable.