Negotiating Home Price – How to Give and Take

It’s your house-buying dream scenario: you find the house of your dreams, your agent presents your initial offer to the seller’s agent, the seller accepts the offer without a counteroffer, and the house is yours. Simple! And it sometimes happens just that way.

More often, house-buying is a series of negotiations. Now let’s look at some of the key give and take of negotiating a home price.

Know the market. You can learn much about the real estate conditions of your preferred new neighborhood by doing online research with the public records and real estate listings:

  • Gather the important details about the property and the neighborhood: is the house in foreclosure, is there a divorce proceeding, when was the last time the house was on the market; Google view the street to see what the house and the immediate neighborhood look like.
  • Follow several good real estate blogs on a daily basis to monitor the available properties and the asking/selling prices of properties in your target area.
  • There generally are three types of markets: a highly competitive seller’s market, buyer’s market, or a balanced market in which supply and demand are fairly equal. Know your market! It will affect your negotiating strategy.

Line up your financing before house hunting. Getting pre-qualified/pre-approved for a loan is important (especially in a seller’s market), and it can take months to accomplish. An offer from a pre-qualified buyer carries more influence than one without pre-approval; some agents won’t even show homes to prospective buyers until they have completed the pre-approval process.

Ask questions, reveal little. Try to find out why the seller is moving. Does the seller need a quick turnaround sale? The seller may be motivated to accept a reasonable offer. Does the seller prefer a longer closing period and possibly a rent-back option? This information may give the buyer leverage during negotiations. But be mindful that the seller may choose to divulge very little about the reason(s) for the sale.

It also is prudent to reveal as little about yourself as possible. The seller’s agent could use that knowledge about you as leverage.

Have options. It helps to have other home buying options when you are negotiating on a property. Let the seller’s agent know that you have other homes you are seriously considering and avoid giving the impression of being desperate to by this house. Real estate insiders advise buyers to be dispassionate about a home – or at least appear to be dispassionate.

Be prepared to walk away. When you’ve presented a strong offer but the seller won’t negotiate or compromise, walk away. One of your other house options may be your dream home, after all.

Be prepared to act fast and make a realistic offer. Unless you are in a buyer’s market, be prepared to decide on a house, act quickly, and make a realistic offer. Your offer must be a fair one, based on the value of the property and not the list price. Don’t insult the owner by low balling your offer. You may never have a chance to make a second offer. Note that an initial offer with a price range instead of a fixed number may give you more flexibility, too.

Finally…

It can be easy to get stuck in the negotiating “game” and sometimes lose the property if neither side will give in. If you can’t get the seller to come down in price on all your requests, but the reduced price is favorable to you, you like the house, and you have negotiated well – stop while you’re ahead! Agree to the final terms or walk away.

Choose a skilled agent who will represent your best interests. Expect that the home-buying process will include compromises and being creative with your offer may help move you through the negotiations to a favorable conclusion for both parties. May you be successful in your search, the negotiations, and moving into your dream home.

Webinar How To Steps: Plan, Promote, Present

Webinars have become popular in the past couple of years for several reasons, the main one being logistics in terms of not having to leave your home or office to give them or participate in them. From a geographical standpoint, you can immediately see the advantage in the amount of time you will save.

Here is a quick and easy three-part guide to staging a successful webinar:

1- Planning. You will need to pick a date for you webinar and set up the software in advance. There are several choices for webinar software and services. I happen to believe that GoToWebinar is a good choice. So, you will need to register an account, pick the date of your first webinar, and then do a couple of practice runs with the software before the actual date of the webinar.

One good tip at this point would be to use two video screens, so that you can put the control panel for the webinar on one screen, and use the other one for your presentation; that is the screen that the participants in the webinar will see.

2- Promoting. If you are going to run a successful webinar, you need to promote it. You cannot rely on anybody just finding it by accident and wanting to register.

There are, of course, several ways to do this. One of the most efficient ways is to send out an invitation to your personal and professional mailing list. Many of the more popular webinar software and services will allow you to do this.

You are going to make the email as value driven and compelling as you can, so that it makes someone want to register. I would not recommend charging a fee your first time out. Get your feet wet by offering a free webinar, and in your invitation explain in detail what it is all about.

Another way to promote webinar is to use your social media connections, whether that is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or MySpace. You can simply let your connections know that the webinar is taking place, and again you must make sure the message that you send is clear and concise.

You could also promote the webinar through grassroots marketing word of mouth and through the telephone if you wanted to, but I think the most efficient way is defiantly by email.

3- Understanding the difference between your content and good context. Your content is, obviously, the information that you want to share, while context is the way that you share it.

If at all possible, I would recommend that you take some presentation training courses, but if you want to go it alone, there are a couple of points.

Make sure that your introduction, or the first five minutes of your webinar, includes an overview of what you will cover, so that people have enough reason to stick around for the duration.

Also, make sure that the introduction includes a little bit of what we call ETR (Earn the Right).

Tell a good story which shares your experience in a more entertaining way. Stories are fun to listen to, but they also help you keep your audience engaged, and help them learn more about you, so that you can build a little bit of trust along the way.

Try to stay away from PowerPoint as much as possible, so that you are able to change up your content when the questions start to come in. Remember, you do not always know what they want to learn, and it might be a good idea to ask them.

Finally you have to back in your webinar. It means making an offer for your product and/or services, which is really the whole point of the webinar, so that you can promote your business. We will discuss how to make a compelling offer in another article.

I would recommend in closing, if you have not ever staged a webinar before, that you try to seek out information from experts on how to do that. While you will learn from your mistakes, it is much easier to learn the information from somebody who is already giving successful webinars.

The Present Outside the Present

Those of us who’ve had small children will know the incredible but unforeseeable value of the refrigerator carton. Kids can make all sorts of things from robots to puppet theatres out of these cardboard structures. And, of course, how many parents out there have been bemused to give their infant toddler a gift at birthday or Christmas time only to find them more captivated by the box than the goodies inside?

I had one of these experiences recently. I had serendipitously taken part in an EzineArticles “100 articles in 100 days” challenge and only realised so after the event. Part of the challenge, of course, was a prize–a coffee mug adorned with “#HAHD” to signify the achievement. But, wait, there’s more.

When I responded to an email to register for my prize I thought at the time I’d be unlikely to actually receive it–being halfway around the world from Green Bay, Wisconsin, the home of EzineArticles, I was sure something would happen to see it get ‘lost in the post.’

I received this ‘present’ on my birthday. And not only was there a mug, but a pen, paper, some coffee, a mouse mat and more. But, the main thing that got my attention was the United States Postal Service ‘small flat box’ that the present came in.

This box was no ordinary box. I marvelled at it like it was sent from Mars or something. It had logos on it I hadn’t seen before. It specified the holding capacity in pounds not kilograms. It featured a small insignia map logo–a globe of the world, but not featuring Australia (Africa and Europe are featured in this ‘International Express Priority’ post actually). Finally, my address had “AUSTRALIA” marked in bold under the state details.

My wife and I mused for a good ten minutes about this box. It provided quite a pleasure-filled surprise for the day.

The lesson from this that I draw is, the simplest things can spur our minds. It also shows how big a world we live in. Having never travelled internationally, I’m awed by thoughts of places like America, the Middle East, and Europe.

The best things in life truly are free.