In a seller's market, a prospective home buyer needs to be a little more cautious when negotiating a purchase; however, in a buyer's market, incentives are an accepted part of the deal. It certainly never hurts to ask. It's not uncommon for a seller to wait for three months or longer to sell their home, especially during this time when the market is saturated with homes for sale. They need to make their home stand out amongst the rest, and often times, offering sales incentives is the easiest way to accomplish this.
Here are a few of the more common closing requests that never would have been considered a few years ago in our previous seller's market.
House Price & Closing Costs
It's quite acceptable to negotiate 5 percent off the price of the house and then request another 3 percent for the closing costs associated with the purchase of the home.
Home Inspection: Everyone asks for a house inspection these days. It's the most sensible way to avoid costly surprise that may result from rotten beams, water damage, faulty wiring or cracked foundations to name a few. Once the inspection is completed, the buyer can take his list of deficiencies, associate costs with them, and either request that they be fixed or deducted from the purchase price. It is also common practice to request the seller to arrange and pay for the inspection.
Radon Inspection: This used to be a common inspection in the 1980's and 1990's. There are approximately 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year as a result of this cancer causing, odorless gas. A test to determine radon levels in a house costs less than $50, and if the levels are high, repairing the problems cost about $1,000.
Well Inspection: When purchasing a home with a well, the seller should be responsible for a thorough inspection of the system including:
-Functionality of the pump and overall well system.
-The well quantity, or the amount of water drawn per minute, to ensure an adequate flow and water pressure.
-The water quality has to be tested to ensure that it doesn't pose a health risk.
Septic Inspection: In rural areas with no connection to sewer lines, the seller also has to provide proof of a certified inspection of the septic system.
Including a home warranty can go a long way to providing peace of mind in a home negotiation. At an average cost of $250 - $400, it is a reasonable request to make of a seller.
Sometimes a carpet or paint job may be in dire need of upgrading and a buyer can either request replacement of these items or deduct the cost from the offer.
Generally, any fixed items stay with the house, but often times it is to a buyer's advantage to request certain things to be included, such as:
-Lawn tractors or snow blowers
New Home Buyer Incentives
When purchasing a new home from a builder, the incentives are almost endless, and range from new appliances, landscaping, big screen TV's and even swimming pools.
A buyer's market won't be around forever but when it is be sure to take advantage of it. If you have any questions about things you can negotiate for, your real estate agent is a great resource to check with.