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The real estate market is a tide that is constantly changing, and the best negotiators have to be ready to surf the waves. House prices are at a record low, and buyers are like kids in a candy store picking a variety of foreclosed and short sale homes to appease their palates. But in order to get the best deal, buyers have to be able to negotiate. Here are five powerhouse negotiating tips.

1. Don’t get arrogant. A buyers market doesn’t mean buyers can get cocky when making an offer. One of the biggest mistakes over confident buyers make is offering way lower for properties than acceptable. If a seller feels disrespected you’re less likely to win the offer.

2. Become a super sleuth. Knowledge is power so ask important questions. What’s the comparable neighborhood sales? How long’s the house been on the market? What‘s the seller‘s deadline? The more you know, the more well constructed your offer will be.

3. Put your best face forward. Making an offer on a popular house with competing bids? Do what buyers trapped in the digital age of Facebook and text messages won’t do. Actually connect with the seller! Usually a seller sells a home filled with treasured memories and they want to know it will be taken care of. So if possible, a friendly handwritten letter spelling out your best intentions or even a sincere face to face meeting will only help you stand out favorably among your competition.

4. Ask and ye shall receive. There’s no telling what you’ll get in a buyers market, so don’t be afraid to just ask! If you expect a no, you may be pleasantly surprised. You can ask for an allowance or credit if there are costly repair items, ask for the seller to cover  closing costs, or even ask for a one year home warranty plan.

5.  Walk away. If you’re dealing with a difficult seller, be prepared to walk away. This is your strongest negotiation tactic and always puts you in control of the situation.

For a list of well priced foreclosed homes in the San Diego area visit www.openoffer.com/foreclosures.

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This is filed under Home Buying.

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