It’s not always easy to find affordable condos in Montreal, or at least affordable ones in the size you want. That’s especially true when you’re buying from an owner instead of a developer. Owners who have lived in the condo often have an emotional connection to their property, so they may not be very willing to see it go for a low price. And, even worse, some sellers may have an asking price that is unrealistic, making it difficult for them to sell (and for you to buy) their condo.
However, it is always possible to negotiate with the seller, so that you can purchase the unit at a price you prefer. If this is your plan, here are some tips that can boost your chances of success.
Discuss local market trends with your realtor.
You need facts, and real estate agents have those facts about market trends at the ready for you. You can use the data to come up with a reasonable offer that you can back up with actual real numbers.
When you’re negotiating for the price, it’s inevitable that some sellers may see such an offer as an insult to their beloved condo. You can present your data as proof that you’re offering a fair price to help convince them to accept your offer.
You (and your agent) need to be in constant communication with the listing agent.
The listing agent is a valuable resource of information for your negotiation. They can indicate how motivated the seller is, and they can shed light on their motivation for why they’re selling. You can then use this knowledge so you can couch your arguments that match the seller’s needs.
Keep your expectations realistic.
If you’re planning on offering a low price for a condo, don’t think that the seller will make any upgrades to the unit. The lower your offering price, the less motivated and responsible the seller is for making upgrades, no matter how necessary they may be.
You’ll have to do all the upgrades and improvements, and you have to plan and budget for all of that, which may affect your buying budget.
Make sure all your financing arrangements are in order.
Your agent can help with this, but usually you need to make sure that you can really buy the condo. That means some paperwork from the mortgage bank will be needed to show that you qualify, as well as your deposit check. Make sure you can afford to purchase a home within your desired budget, and always leave some leeway room for renovations and other moving costs that may creep up unexpectedly.
Keep your cool and remain polite.
Now, at some point you may think that the seller is seriously overestimating the value of their condo. Even if that’s the case, you have to remain respectful and courteous. Your politeness can surely help your cause and they may become more willing to bring down their asking price. Otherwise, you may be risking the seller’s motivation to negotiate. Sellers don’t often sell to people they find discourteous, especially when they come with a low offer!
Offering a low price for a condo can be a risky strategy, as you risk losing the bid if your offer is just too low. On the other hand, you do stand to gain a great condo unit at a very low price. Following the dos and don’ts of condo negotiation can ensure you and the seller reach a price that you’re both satisfied with.