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How to Negotiate with Sellers

Once you have finally found your dream home, you will have to determine what price you will offer the seller. The condo price negotiation is one of the most stressful parts of the condo buying process, as it is very much like a game of chess. The goal is for everyone to be happy with the outcome, which can be quite tricky. You want to get the lowest price possible, while they are hoping for the opposite. As any good salesperson knows, the ABC rule applies to any financial negotiation in life. When you are looking to convince someone of the value of what you’re offering, “always be closing.”

Understand the Psychology of the Seller

It’s important to remember that the seller is looking to do one of two things. Either they want to get fair market value for their condominium, or they need to find a buyer quickly because they can no longer afford the property. This allows you to take advantage of their problem by motivating them to accept your offer. You can emphasize the fact that you are there to help with the burden of their monthly payments and arrearages or you are willing to close quickly on the condo to assist with their purchase of a new property.

Research, Research, Research

Investigate the neighborhood extensively to see the selling price of comparable condos in the area. Using this information, you’ll have a good idea of the lowest price you can negotiate the seller to agree to for the property. You may realize that you won’t be able to get much of a deal, at which point you may need to consider walking away.

If you can find a way to speak directly to the owner, you may be able to get them to “spill the beans” about the condo. You want to know what problems exist with the property and use this to drive down the asking price. Be sure to turn on the charm and get them to trust you. In all likelihood, they want to find someone they think will treat the home well and enjoy it as much as they did.

Advantages of a Buyer’s Market

With the Chicago housing market still struggling to recover, you can benefit greatly in this buyer’s market. What does this mean? Well, there are many condos for sale in Chicago, many are selling very slowly and sellers typically offer incentives to buyers to help close the deal more quickly. You can find amazing deals right now and in most cases, convince the seller to make many concessions before you agree to buy. Use this to your advantage!

Negotiating the Price of the Condo

  1. The most important rule is to be respectful and considerate to the seller and agents. Don’t try to make enemies when negotiating – be as professional as possible.
  2. Let them know you are looking at other Chicago condos as well, so they don’t get the impression you are easy prey. You want them to think their condo isn’t the best one you’re looking at, so they’ll be more willing to negotiate.
  3. You will almost always get a counter bid from the seller. With your first offer, bid lower than what you’re really willing to pay, so you can come up in the next round of bidding.
  4. Ask for incentives, such as cosmetic repairs, furnishings or even money toward the closing costs. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know how much they’re willing to give to close the deal. Use this to your advantage.

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