Have you found a house that you are ready to call your own? You'll need to make an offer on the house and start the negotiation process. Be aware of four different real estate items you can negotiate on when you start dealing with the seller.
The Home Inspection
Some sellers may ask that you forego having a home inspection done as part of the buying process. This is something that you should hold firm on keeping, since it is never a good idea to get a home without a home inspection. The inspection is your opportunity to have a third party look at the home and tell you anything that is wrong with it. If the seller wants you to skip the inspection as a condition of accepting your offer on the home, consider it a big red flag. The seller may be hiding something that they do not want you to find so that the sale goes through.
Having a home inspection performed also helps you with negotiating the price of the home. If the inspector finds things wrong with the home that you were not aware of, you can use this information as leverage in order to get a lower price on the home. For example, if the inspector discovers that the air conditioner is broken, you can ask the seller to either fix the air conditioner or lower the price of the home to compensate you for the repairs you will have to make.
The Home Warranty
Many sellers offer a home warranty as a way to encourage people to buy the home. The home warranty is like an insurance policy on the items in the home, which will provide you with protection from paying for items that break down unexpectedly in the first year of being in the home. What you may not be aware of is that the home warranty is something you can negotiate on. You can always ask the seller to give you the cash value of the home warranty rather than taking it, since chances are that you'll never need to use the home warranty if your inspection reported that everything was in good shape.
The Closing Date
While it is common to close on a home within 30 days, it is possible to extend that closing date to one that works better for you. For example, if you do not plan on moving until after your children are finished with school for the year, you may want to request an early summer closing date so that part of your life can be settled before moving.