If you are in the market for a home, you might find that almost nothing is written in stone. Many aspects of real estate are meant to be flexible and liquid so read on to find out about some common home-buying issues that can be negotiated.
Price — You don't necessarily have to pay the listing price — although you might need to. Depending on how competitive the market is in your target area, there might be wiggle room. In general, sellers would like to be paid the list price but they may be willing to take less if the home has been on the market for a while or the home has condition issues. The best way to know what to offer is to ask your real estate agent about the comps (comparative value) on the home and about others also interested in the home.
Financing — You may be surprised at the number of loan options available and they all carry varying interest rates and points. Find out how much home you can afford and about common lending programs before you start your home search.
Furniture — In most cases, sellers will be removing most if not all of the furnishings from the home when they vacate it. The exception is when a buyer specifically requests the seller leave behind something or an item is too difficult to move. For example, you might ask the seller to leave behind a hot tub or pool table and offer to pay them a fair price. Another issue is homes that come fully-furnished and those are often common in resort areas with vacation properties. The issue of whether or not to buy it furnished can often be negotiated.
Fixtures — Unlike furniture, anything permanently attached to the home should be conveyed with it. The definition of fixture can vary from state to state, however. While you can usually expect the dishwasher to be included, drapes and blinds may not be. Talk to your real estate agent so you won't be surprised later.
Closing costs — In most cases, closing costs are negotiated when the purchase offer is submitted. The buyer or the seller can offer to pay certain closing costs as an incentive to make the sale happen.
You might want to check with your real estate agent to find out more about what can and what cannot be negotiated when buying a home.
For more information, contact a real estate service.