Buying a house will inevitably involve a lot of negotiating, whether good-natured give-and-take or aggressive jockeying for the best position. Too many buyers, though, think that once they’ve settled on a price, the negotiations are over. But that’s pretty far from the actual state of affairs. There are in fact many other negotiation points. So let’s take a look at the top 5 costs to negotiate when buying a house in South Florida.
1. The Price
The thing that first comes to mind when you mention negotiating is, of course, the price. This is the primary concern for both buyers and sellers, and each has a goal that runs counter to the others. Further, when buying a house in South Florida, you’ll find that this is the place where deals most often fall apart.
Buyers, naturally, want to pay the least amount possible, and sellers, of course, want to get the highest price possible. And that’s exactly why it can be such a contentious point in the negotiations. Typically, sellers must get a certain amount in order to pay off the mortgage. Buyers, however, can spread their financial burden over the life of the mortgage, which often gives them more flexibility in negotiating price.
Since this is the largest and most critical of the costs to negotiate when buying a house in South Florida, most buyers are better off relying on the negotiating expertise of their South Florida agent. Find out how an agent can help you negotiate the best price by calling 954-278-9353.
Next among the top things to negotiate when buying a house in South Florida are the contingencies. In general, the fewer the contingencies in an offer, the more appealing it will be to the seller because there will be fewer chances for the deal to fall through.
Contingencies are contract clauses stipulating that if certain conditions aren’t met – for example, sale of the buyer’s current home or no major issues discovered by the inspection – the buyer can walk away with the contract dissolved. As a buyer, then, you’ll have more negotiating leverage if you’re willing to be flexible when it comes to contingencies.
Still, contingencies are there to protect you as the buyer. And while they’re not strictly a cost, they can profoundly impact the cost of buying a house in South Florida. And that’s why it’s best to rely on your South Florida agent’s skill and experience when negotiating contingencies.
3. Closing Costs
Closing costs are an inevitable part of buying a house in South Florida, but many buyers, especially first-time buyers, are often taken off guard by the extent and amount of these costs.
Typically, closing costs amount to between 2% to 5% of the purchase price – a large chunk of change, indeed. You can, however, negotiate for the seller to pay some or all of the closing costs.
“If you’re in a buyer’s market, and the seller is anxious to move on from the property, you might be able to have the sellers pick up some or all of the closing costs. This puts extra cash in your pocket that you can redirect toward renovations, big-ticket repairs, or updates, but you can also request a closing credit for specific changes made after purchase. For example, the property needs the driveway sealed or the new owner would like the deck refinished.”
It can pay handsomely to skillfully negotiate a partial or full payment of closing costs. So be sure to contact your South Florida agent to find out how to do this.
4. Home Warranty
Another important cost to negotiate when buying a house in South Florida concerns the home warranty. Industry pros recommend that you always try to get a home warranty.
“Always, always ask for a home warranty . . . It’s very common for a seller to pay this expense up front. The seller pays the premium at closing, usually around $450-600, and then the new homeowner is responsible for the deductible with any claim made.” This warranty will cover the cost of “the repair of key items like heating and air systems, plumbing or appliances” if the inspection determines that these repairs need to be made.
5. Things That Stay With the House
An indirect cost that you should also negotiate when buying a house in South Florida has to do with items that will stay with the house.
“Realtors aren’t kidding when they say you can negotiate anything as a buyer, like furniture that perfectly fits a room layout, light fixtures, . . .appliances and even lawn care items. Sometimes sellers say yes to such requests because they want to make a home more appealing to the buyer, they don’t want to transport certain items to a new location, or they rarely use it. Although furniture usually comes as a ‘gift’ from the homeowner, it can go a long way for first-time buyers who may need to furnish an entire home right after spending most of their savings on the purchase . . .Sellers will often leave patio items, air filters – all things that can save a buyer money while they recuperate from the purchase.”
Winning at Negotiating When Buying a House in South Florida
Skillfully negotiating these costs can wind up saving you a substantial amount of money. Unfortunately, most buyers don’t possess the negotiating expertise to get the best deal. But that’s where your South Florida real estate agent can help you out. So if you’re buying a house in South Florida and also want to negotiate the best deal possible, contact us today at 954-278-9353.