Updated May 15th, 2019
Looking for a home in a seller’s market is tough. Especially if you are competing against several other people in a bidding war for your dream home.
If you don’t have the funds to eliminate the competition, then you might as well put up a white flag, cause you are out of luck. Unless you can out-negotiate them.
Having a fabulous negotiator as a buyer’s agent is your secret weapon in seller’s markets. You may be asking yourself, “How to find a buyer’s agent that’s a good negotiator?”
The answer: You begin by looking in the right place.
We could begin by explaining to you exactly what a buyer’s agent is, but if you’re looking for a buyer’s agent that’s also a ninja at negotiating, it’s safe to assume you already know that answer. (If you’re a bit hazy about it still, go here.)
Instead of diving into what a buyer’s agent is, let’s talk about what a buyer’s agent does.
Buyer’s agents show houses, write up paperwork, and turn in offers. But one of their biggest jobs is to negotiate the price of homes. You could argue that anyone could negotiate the sale price down, but a home negotiation isn’t a yard sale. These aren’t vinyl records you’ve got to negotiate down from $50 to $20; we are talking significant numbers like $400,000 that need to turn closer to $360,000.
For negotiation like that, you’ll need a particular skill set, or your real estate agent will. These skills are familiarity with the housing market, knowledge of home repairs, and a reputation of uncompromisable service (aka Top Real Estate Agents).
Familiarity with the Housing Market
A good negotiator knows the market that they’re negotiating in. They are continually checking prices, the length of time a house is on the market, and tax records. They know that the home down the street in a similar area with similar square footage sold for $30,000 less than this one, and therefore there is room to negotiate. These negotiators do their homework before making an offer, and won’t make a serious offer unless they are sure they can back it up.
Knowledge of Home Repairs
Good negotiators also know where the home lacks in value and how to press it to their advantage.
For example, a newly renovated home built in the 1980’s may be well over 2,000 square feet and have a brand new kitchen and bathrooms, but there is lead paint in the garage. A good negotiator would use that to their advantage. They would point out the fact that work has to be done on the property for it to be safely inhabited by children, and should, therefore, drop in price. Some other examples would be roofs that need repairing, siding that needs replacing, and water damage that needs patching. Great negotiators always have something to bring to the table to negotiate with, or they know they’re never going to win.
Top Real Estate Agents
Negotiators like the ones we’ve described don’t go unnoticed. These are the agents that get used over and over again because they deliver every single time. This type of agent will tell you when you are unreasonable with your offer, and if you insist on doing it anyway, they will always be right.
Top agents know not only when to push for a price but when to back out as well. They get lively in their haggling but don’t take it too far. You’ll see this character trait stay consistent throughout all of their interactions with their clients as well.
They are upfront about what to look for and what to avoid when considering a home. They will politely challenge your thinking if you make assumptions about a home’s value or price that are incorrect. Top negotiating agents are not people pleasers. They serve their client’s best interests, even if they aren’t making very much money off of them.
Top Real Estate Agents USA
Now that you know what to look for, how do you find them? There are several sites that can help you locate top agents in your area. Instead of Googling it and clicking on the first one you see, however, think about this strategically. As you strategically think about which agent to choose, you’ll be able to separate the pack into groups that will help you locate the best of the best.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Although I don’t pay my buyer’s agent’s commission, how can I make this the most valuable for me?
It doesn’t get better than free, right? Wrong.
What if you’re buyer’s agent paid you to work with them? It’s called a commission rebate, and it’s something that is mainly used by newer agents or discount agencies. The idea is that if you don’t waste the agent’s time by viewing way too many homes and purchase a home that is above a certain amount, you could receive up to 1% of the home’s sale price back in your pocket.
Pause right there.
Usually, discounts are meant for thrift stores and cheap jewelry that will turn your fingers green. You need a real estate agent that is at the top of their negotiating game to go to bat for you and win big. How does a discount agent fit into that framework? Glad you asked.
Some discount agencies screen their agents and use only the top scoring ones. This means all the ones that know your market already who already have negotiating down to a science are in one single place. How’s that for clever?
Does finding a good negotiator mean they will always win?
No, and here’s why.
As previously stated, good negotiators also know when to lose. That may seem like it doesn’t line up with what you want a negotiator for in the first place, but understand that negotiators are only one part of the equation. Anyone can negotiate until they’re blue in the face, but unless the seller is onboard, they are going to lose. A good negotiator knows when they are going to lose and instead of wasting time, they move on to find a good deal that they can win. It’s all about strategy.
Do I know what I want in a home?
This may seem a bit off topic, but it’s not.
In a seller’s market, you’ve got to act fast. If you don’t know what you want and just put an offer on a house that may work--and you get it-- you may end up unhappy with the home and buyer’s agent anyway because you didn’t know what you wanted.
Before you can find someone to go to bat for you, make sure you know what you want.
Real estate market trends rise and fall over time, but even during buyer’s markets you still want a great negotiator. Knowing what to look for now will help you not only with this home, but future dwellings and investments as well.
On a house hunt and need a quality local real estate agent by your side? What about one that will pay you? You need Clever. Clever connects you with the top agents in your area, and even gives commission rebates with you buy with them! Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.