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Know the seller’s motivation to sell. This will enhance your negotiating position. Sellers who must move quickly due to a job transfer, divorce, or contract on another home, are more inclined to accept a lower price to speed the process along.

Remember, too, that the listing, or asking, price is what the seller would like to receive for the home. It is not necessarily what the seller will settle for. So know value. Before you make an offer, check recent sales and listing prices of comparable neighborhood homes and compare them to the seller’s asking price.

Other tips:

Be flexible. Never say, “take it or leave it.” That can sour negotiations and ruin the deal.

Never show your hand or reveal your next step.

Each time you increase your offering price ask for something in return, such as repairs, appliances, even lawn furniture.

If you plan to pay cash or have a tentative commitment for a loan, use your strong financial position as a negotiating tool.

Don’t let emotions such as pride, fear, love, and anger get in the way of negotiating the best deal. Leave irrational feelings at home.

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