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There’s a fine art to making a successful offer on a home. A good real estate agent who knows your market will be the most important resource in guiding you through the process, but there are some guidelines that apply no matter where or when you’re buying. Don’t make these mistakes when you’re negotiating a home sale.

Don’t reveal that you can afford more than you’re offering.
In most situations, a pre-approved mortgage is key to successfully landing a sale. However, if the seller sees a letter from your bank or mortgage broker clearly indicating that you’ve been approved for a figure much higher, they might be less likely to accept your offer. Instead, ask your bank or mortgage broker to customize the letter, using the figure you’re offering.

Don’t think the sale price is the only thing you can negotiate.
Sometimes people get stuck on the actual sale price, but there are always other things you can negotiate that could make your life easier, or have the same financial impact. For example, you could negotiate the closing date or see if the seller would be willing to pay a portion of closing costs. You can even ask if they would be willing to include certain things in the sale, such as furniture.

Don’t justify a low offer by insulting the home.
While it’s true that you might hate a home’s outdated bathroom and hope a lower offer will compensate for the renovations you plan to complete, it might not be the best idea to be vocal about this. Sellers are human, too, so it pays to be tactful when negotiating.

Don’t automatically lowball your offer.
In Canada, detached homes have seen less demand than they have in years, but that doesn’t automatically mean you should come in with the lowest offer, hoping to get a steal. In fact, rather than negotiating with you, the sellers might reject your offer outright. Ask your real estate agent what the best strategy is for your market.

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