Recommendations For Negotiating In Northern Virginia

For home buyers, here's the goal: the offer is accepted as-is, you don’t need to haggle, and and you can instead focus on what you're going to do with your new dwelling.

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And it could arise. Indeed, a few real estate sellers accept any offer presented, and in Alexandria for a host of reasons.

But, property sellers are also known to reject offers because of rationale known only to them. Or make counteroffers. A counteroffer is possible if you make an offer with lots of conditions, or when you’re up against multiple competing offers.

When the buyer client receives a counter-offer, it’s up to the shopper to decide whether to accept the new contract, negotiate the terms, or walk away.

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When it's time to negotiate, as your Realtor, I'll encourage you to contact me. I will be your guide for real estate like 305 N Washington St, if you want to negotiate with the seller. By this I mean that I will use my experience and negotiating ability as we craft a series of offers and counter-offers to help get you the ideal deal on the home of your dreams. It's the reason real estate agents like me exist.

When negotiations are on-going, it won't be all me though. I’ll help you understand the negotiating rules of thumb we will deploy. Those tactics will vary depending upon the townhouse but in Northern Virginia there are some basics we come back to time and time again.

In Alexandria, let's discuss some conventions every home buyer should see at the outset:

  1. Pick Up the Cost of the Home Warranty

    Sellers will sometimes offer prospective buyers a home warranty, which is a plan that covers the cost of repairing major home appliances and systems if they malfunction within a certain time period after closing, typically a year. The air conditioner and hot water heater are typically covered under this warranty.

    According to Angie’s List, a basic home warranty costs anywhere from $300-$600 a year. If waiving the home warranty will make negotiations easier, you can always tell the seller they don’t need to pay for it. You can always buy it yourself. Regardless of who buys the home warranty, you’ll need to pay the service fee, which is generally between $50-$100, if something goes wrong while still under the warranty’s coverage period.

    Just an FYI: A home warranty is completely different and separate from homeowners insurance, which covers the home’s structure and possessions in a fire, storm, flood, or other accident. Homeowners insurance is required if you take out a mortgage and can cost anywhere from $300-$1000 per year – a small price to pay for peace of mind.

  2. Reduce your Contingencies – With Caution

    If you want to give your counteroffer a bigger boost, try reducing the number of contingencies you’re requesting. This puts you in a position that makes it difficult for you to back out, thereby reassuring the seller that the deal will likely close.

    Make sure you exercise caution when you are reducing your contingencies. A home-inspection contingency allows you to have the home inspected so that you can request repairs or withdraw your offer. This protects you from buying a home with money-draining problems.

    You could, however, waive a termite inspection if you live in a state where the risk is lower.

    Many factors need to be considered when looking at waiving contingencies, such as your market, your loan program requirements, your risk tolerance, and the circumstances of the house in question. You must also keep in mind that if you waive contingencies and then you find a problem, the seller isn’t responsible for fixing it.

  3. Know When to Walk

    If you’re in the middle of negotiations and your gut – or your agent – say that it’s a bad deal, make sure you listen. If you have already made some trade-offs in your negotiating and don’t feel like you could make any more and the seller doesn’t seem willing to budge, walking away may be the best option for you.

    Walking away from negotiations can be a very difficult decision to make because you’ve already put so much time, effort, and emotion into your negotiations thus far. Even though walking away can be tough, after your feelings of frustration pass, you’ll see that a better deal is out there for you and that next time, you’ll have more experience with negotiating.

Photo of 305 N Washington St

Are you interested in a 19th-century townhouse like 305 N Washington St in Alexandria, Virginia? Email me. 

3 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths

Home size: 2039

Added: 10/04/19, Last Updated: 11/26/2019

Property Type: Townhouse for Sale

MLS Number: VAAX239878

Subdivision: Old Town Alexandria

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List Price: 1024000.00

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Properties in 22314 $974,000 to $1,074,000

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