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Homebuying Basics – Negotiating The Best Price For Your Home October 17, 2009

Posted by minnesotarealty in MN Realty.
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After you’ve spent enough time doing all of the research about your prospective MN home and are comfortable with working with the seller, it’s time to make the offer. However, the home buying offer isn’t the end of the sales process; you may be involved with negotiating a price after making the offer if the seller refuses to accept it, so you’ll need a plan to get the price you want – or close to it – well before you extend your initial offer.

Studying the contract in detail and having a back-up plan are just two ways to prepare for the negotiation process. Barron’s ‘Consumer’s Guide to Home Buying’ explains that it is best to be prepared for price negotiations even before submitting an offer by creating a checklist of items to consider when negotiating. Here are some items you need to take into account when negotiating for the price of your new home:

1. Knowing who the decision-makers are in the transaction. Understanding who really calls the shots is a critical element in any negotiation. Is the seller working alone or do they involve their lawyers, accountants, agents or any other third parties in their transactions? You can adapt your negotiating approach and gauge the trustworthiness of the seller if you know who the decision makers behind the contract are.

2. Do you have a contingency plan? If the seller refuses all of your offers, do you have other options? It can be frustrating to not be able to get what you want from the negotiation, but you also need to know when to back off and pursue another direction. Outline exactly how high you are willing to bid for the home and don’t go beyond your decision just to win.

3. Read the whole contract in detail. Know what you’re getting into before you sign your name on the contract. Review the contract in detail and take note of any provisions that are not clear to you. It is best to clarify all terms in the contract with the seller than to assume the meaning of the terms yourself.

4. Develop a relationship with your realtor. Realtors have the experience to give you professional advice about your prospective home. Spend the time to develop a positive working relationship with them. Voice out your concerns to your MN realtor well ahead of the negotiation process to give your realtor time to help you in making an informed decision.

5. Be prepared to handle negotiation setbacks. Poor communication happens in any negotiation often and you have to learn how to deal with it. There are other things as well that make negotiating difficult. It is important to remain impervious to negotiation setbacks but you have to know when to stop negotiating when you think the transaction is not going anywhere.


In Today’s Economy – Should You Buy Or Rent Your Home? February 4, 2009

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Those of us who are conscious of the current economic conditions would say that choosing between owning and renting a MN house at this time poses quite a challenge. It is very easy to fall prey to others whose opinion seemingly sound “good.” However, we cannot deny that this requires expertise on the part of the information source. In so doing, we can possibly avoid costly or unnecessary mistakes. Preferring the right information source with reference to owning or renting also affords us the chance to anchor our decisions from an authority on the matter.

A good adviser takes into account several factors to help you come up with sound financial decision. One, he must consider your individual situation; and two, he must be experienced enough to back his claims with solid evidence. Since no two people have exactly the same predicament and your case is unique from the others – it is crucial to weigh the costs and benefits of buying versus renting. As the co – author of the book Equity Happens (Russell Gray) puts it, “Do the math!”

Intelligent decision arises when you do careful examination of both buying and renting. Having said that, I will spell out some considerations here, which you might find useful. Moreover, since I am not aware of your current financial condition – I will not belabor you with countless rhetoric anymore. In renting, all you need to add up are the costs of your rent, some additional fees, and other utilities.

For ownership expenses it’s a little trickier. You must add together more items and might need the help of professionals to determine what the expenses will be. The main expenses are commonly abbreviated with the acronym PITI. This stands for Principal (the amount of money you pay toward the principal of your loan), Interest (the amount you pay toward the interest of the loan), Taxes (property taxes you must pay), and Insurance (both property insurance and mortgage insurance, if applicable).

Owning a home also covers utility expenses plus other maintenance outlay aside from the PITI. In the case of renting, while it is compelling that you only pay the same amount on a monthly basis; you can go back and determine what your previous payments could buy you a home for. Monthly monetary costs are important aspects in deciding what to choose between owning and renting but it is also equally significant to look at the long-term benefits.

In this case, ownership seems to be where the long-range financial rewards are. Renting a house does not guarantee a title even after years of investment. You will also notice that your rent increases as time goes by. On the other hand, the payment or main cost allotted to buying a house practically stays the same even through the years except for some such as utilities, insurance, etc. The good news is that there is a promise of equity from all the payments you have made towards the ownership of your house. In an appreciating market like ours – a wise choice can go a long way in as far as the value of appreciating our home is concerned!

There is a good chance your choice shifts according to your personal feelings and opinion. Simply put, making the best decision towards renting or owning a home involves your subjective feeling. What can be more fun than having a house you can call your own, and enjoying the independence in creating changes with it however you like it! On one hand, you might favor the side of renting if you will give emphasis on other concerns such as having no lawn to mow, or other maintenance issues.

Often, financial consideration plays a big role but also brings into mind subjective feelings over the argument: to buy or to rent a house? To be more specific, purchasing expensive appliances no longer bothers you when you have huge savings from renting instead of owning. Or maybe, the freedom to do whatever you want with your own house appears inconsequential if you will note the massive expenses you shed off just to purchase your home. Either way, the dictum “numbers do not lie” proves that the former is still weightier than the other.

Conversely, this piece wants to point out two important concerns relative to renting and buying a house. One is to seek advice from the right authority to help you identify the best course of action. Next is to examine carefully both the financial and subjective considerations. The gains or benefits usually become apparent on a long term basis. Finally, it would help to bear in mind that we are in a buyer’s market where ownership is deemed favorable over renting.

Alexandria P. Anderson is a licensed Minnesota Realtor that helps people to find and purchase Bloomington houses and other Bloomington properties for her clients’ needs.