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You can negotiate your way to a better deal on the home of your dreams. Let an experienced and knowledgeable Realtor be your ally as you negotiate.

One thing to remember as you search for a property to buy is that the asking price is not necessarily the price you will pay. Sellers are usually willing to take something off the top if you give them good reasons to do so. Your Realtor can help you present your offer in a light that will make the seller more willing to go along with a deal that's better for you. Here are the things you can do to get that better deal:

1. Price Negotiation

Know Your Market: This is the first way in which your Realtor will be a valuable representative. Together, you and your agent will bring a lot of knowledge to the negotiating table, and your agent's skill at negotiating and knowledge of the local market can help you get your home for better than market value.

Tell Your Story in the Offer Presentation: If all you do is say "I'm offering $x for this home" without a good explanation why you've arrived at your figure, you lose leverage with the seller and quite possibly the seller's trust too. A good offer presentation will put a human face on your offer and make the seller more willing to work with you - and not another buyer.

"It's a Lovely Home, But...": It's a rare home indeed that has nothing that needs fixing, and that probably goes for the home you want to make an offer on. Don't be afraid to mention the flaws you're willing to ignore in order to pay what you believe the home is worth.

Obtain and Maintain Leverage During Negotiations: Here's another area where your Realtor can help if you're new to home buying. The negotiation process has elements of a tug-of-war about it, and in a tug-of-war, the victory often goes to the side that gets more leverage. Your Realtor can help you learn the strategies that will shift the leverage in your favor if you are negotiating with a tough seller.

2. Concessions

The Presentation Matters: Explaining your offer in detail with a presentation opens the door to the seller agreeing to make repairs to, replace, update or upgrade some elements of the home you want to purchase,

A Lower Price or More Fixes?: Some sellers who may be reluctant to lower their asking price to where you'd like it to be may be willing instead to agree to make repairs that other buyers are also likely to request. You and your agent should check out the property thoroughly before making your offer presentation in order to learn what those things that need fixing are.

3. Closing Costs

Go Ahead, Ask the Seller to Pick Them Up: Asking the seller to cover closing costs is as good as getting a price reduction because it minimizes the amount of cash you need to bring to the table at settlement. Your agent can offer you advice on how to go about doing this in your offer presentation.

But Don't Overreach: While sellers are often prepared to entertain a request for closing costs, there are limits on how much you can ask the seller to cover. Your Realtor and your mortgage lender can clue you into what those limits are.

And Don't Ask If You're Doing a Cash Deal: If you're an investor looking to pay cash for a distressed property, don't ask the seller for closing costs, for it confuses the seller about what his or her net will be, and a confused seller will usually bring your negotiation to an end.

With skilled negotiation, you may actually be able to walk away with a bargain. Without it, you may end up paying more than you intended to. Talk to your Realtor about negotiation strategies.

Reference: 3 Things A Buyer Can Negotiate Posted by Philly Living on Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 7:35pm