How To Negotiate a Home Purchase on Martha's Vineyard

Jen O'Hanlon, REALTOR®

03/24/22

The 2022 Martha's Vineyard housing market is shaping up to be just as crazy as last year. With multiple-offer situations continuing to be the norm, I’m sharing some negotiation items that buyers can use to help win in current circumstances.

The key to negotiating a fair price for your home is understanding the market conditions. The market may be hot right now, but that doesn't mean you should take the bidding wars for granted. Who you hire matters and seeing as how we are heading full steam ahead into another year where it's a seller's market, hiring an agent with top notch negotiation skills is essential.  A local agent will know the Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Market and can help you decide where to come in on your offer price. Getting your finances in order and your loan approved before you make an offer will also be helpful to negotiate your offer. 

Offers and counteroffers can be done in writing or verbally, although often it feels more official to send them over as a formal proposal rather than discussing the matter on an informal basis. It can take anywhere from an hour or up to a few days depending on how many offers have been submitted. You can expect lengthier delays when there's high demand for properties on Martha's Vineyard!

Besides the price of the home, other terms that can be negotiated are closing date and possession date. For example, many sellers want a delayed possession so they have time to search for a home, so a long close date or rent-back agreement might be enticing. For a vacant listing, the reverse is true: they might favor a short 10-15 day closing since they are already moved out, in which case a fully underwritten or cash offer would have the advantage.

Closing costs are negotiable too, especially if a home has been on the market for a long time. So far in 2022 we have seen most buyers cover just their own closing costs; in very aggressive markets, though, some buyers are paying the seller’s closing costs as well.

Although not recommended, it is possible to waive contingencies like the home inspection. I would strongly suggest at least having a pre-inspection before you make your offer so that you know what you are purchasing; then if you are satisfied you can waive a full inspection, or you can request repairs when you submit your offer. This way there are no surprises about what you are buying and you can negotiate from the beginning. 

As a buyer, it is imperative that your agent understands the motivations of the seller and whether there is anything important to the seller that can help strengthen your offer. Knowledge is power, so have your agent call the listing agent to get you this inside information.

If you know a home has been on the market for 20 days and the average days on market is 5, you can negotiate price and terms since the market is showing that the home is overpriced.

When should you stop negotiating? When you stop feeling good about purchasing the property. The 2022 market will be hard on buyers, but you shouldn't keep negotiating until you are no longer excited to purchase the property. 

 

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