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What should I offer for my new home?

Negotiating the purchase of a new home is an art.  As a buyer, when you fall in love with a home, your first instinct may be to offer full price.  However, jumping right to the list price, or even over, without any caveats may be selling yourself short.  Our New York real estate lawyers at Merlino & Gonzalez offer some tips for negotiating your home purchase below.

Know Your Market

New York and New Jersey are both hot real estate markets.  Properties tend to move quickly, which may make you all the more anxious to offer full price or over.  While this will be inevitable at times, usually even in the strongest of markets there are elements to a sale that the buyer can negotiate.

A crucial aspect to any negotiation will be knowing your market.  Understanding what is a good value in your market will prove crucial to negotiations.  You can also attempt to get to know your seller.  You can try asking the seller’s agent why they are selling. A more motivated seller may be likely to entertain negotiations.

Put In a Realistic Offer

Generally, you will not want to start negotiations with a low ball offer.  A low ball offer may insult the seller and could be rejected rather than countered.  While exceptions do exist, as in the case of foreclosures or homes that are grossly overpriced, you will usually want to put in an initial offer that is reasonable given the home and market.

Protect Yourself With a Lawyer

You will typically be required to put down earnest money and sign a purchase agreement once the seller agrees to a purchase price.  You will want to work with a real estate law attorney to ensure the contract you sign adequately protects you should any major issues arise with financing, the home itself, or otherwise.

Negotiate After Inspection

In most sales, you will agree to purchase a home at a certain price with the right to inspection.  At times, inspections will reveal some issues with the home.  You can use the inspection as leverage to seek a credit from the seller to allow you to fix these issues.  Credits could be in the form of cash back at closing or used to offset closing costs.  Often, to make the deal go through, a seller will be willing to negotiate after the inspection.