Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Negotiating Your Offer

Posted in Offers by Jeff Dowler on July 1, 2008
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One of the most stressful aspects of buying a new home is negotiating the offer.

Once you decide on the home you wish to buy you will formulate a written offer with the help of your agent. If you are in a market where full price offers are common (i.e., a seller’s market) then the negotiation is pretty simple – you give them what they want and they accept.

The reality of most markets is that buyers offer less, sometimes substantially less, and the buyer and seller must negotiate. Some folks take the approach that they must WIN, but a true negotiation is based on both parties reaching agreement by a give and take so that both feel they are treated fairly. Obviously the seller wants as high a price as possible, and you want to pay as little as possible. Somewhere in between, if both parties really are interested in negotiating, will be the final agreement.

Try to not get emotional about the process, the give and take. Sometimes buyers feel they are giving in, but keep in mind sellers do as well. You should focus on the final objective, which is to buy a home that you love for a price you can afford and which feels like a fair deal in your particular market.

Negotiation is a normal and expected aspect of buying a home, and it can take hours or even days. But neither party wants to feel they are giving up everything when the other party is giving up nothing. Nitpicking over minor little details or a few hundred dollars can circumvent the negotiation and really doesn’t achieve anything. If your attitude is that you must win, there’s a good chance you won’t. The same is true, of course, for the sellers.

One final point. If you are trying to buy a short sale, foreclosure or REO, then negotiations are very different. Banks don’t operate like typical sellers, and they tend to not respond for long periods of time. The difference in negotiating an offer with a typical seller and the bank is like night and day.

Read: Buying a short sale.


If I can provide more information about Carlsbad and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360
or email me at

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All content copyright © 2007 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits


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