Donna Fessler - Berkshire Hathoway Home Service


If you’re a first-time homebuyer you might be worried or anxious about the process of making an offer on a home. After all, negotiating isn’t something most of us look forward to on a day to day basis and we try to avoid it when possible. When it comes to buying a home, however, negotiating is usually part of the process.

One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent is that they have the knowledge and expertise to help you out through the negotiation process. Not only will they help you formulate your offer, but they’ll also present the offer for you and handle the in-person negotiations.

Buyer’s vs seller’s market

Whether or not the odds are in your favor depends on many things. One important factor is the state of the real estate marketing. In a seller’s market, which is what we’re in right now, there are more buyers looking for homes than there are sellers trying to sell them.

However, you can still edge past the competition in a seller’s market if you plan accordingly. This is when negotiation comes into play, and when effective negotiation can get your offer accepted where others are declined.

Time is of the essence

When you’re shopping for a home in a seller’s market, you’ll need to be swift with your offer and counteroffers to stay ahead of other prospective buyers. However, being too hasty with your offers can seem imposing or reckless. It’s better to take a day longer to come up with a more effective offer than it is to make an offer that looks bad to the seller.

Be clear and concise

Just as you’re nervous making offers on a home, sellers are usually nervous fielding them. So, if you want to make things easier for you and your seller, make sure your offer is simple and straightforward.

This involves removing unnecessary contingencies and sticking to the contract basics--inspection, appraisal, and financing. If the seller receives another offer that is riddled with contingencies, they might prefer to work with you since you presented them with a simple contract.

Be prepared

Having your paperwork in order, getting preapproved, and making yourself available as much as possible will go a long way in the negotiation process. Now more than ever it’s important to be well-organized.

Do your homework on the house and neighborhood you’re interested in. Make sure you know if there is a lot of interest in the area and the house in particular. This will let you know how much breathing room you have.

Getting preapproved will not only help you know the limits you can offer but it will also signal to the seller that you’re a serious buyer.


Building a fence on your property can be a great way to secure privacy, add curb appeal, or give your kids and dog a great way to play safely. There are a few things that you should know about building a fence before you take the project on. You need to be sure that everything is in place so that the project will go smoothly. 


Know What You Want


If you know the purpose of the fence, you’ll need to decide on the type of fence that will best serve what you’re looking to achieve. If you live in an area governed by an HOA for example, you may need to get clearance just to start the project. The Association may have rules and regulations as to what type of fence they’ll allow you to put up. Many variables should be answered before you leap into the project of building a fence. 


Decide On The Materials The Fence Will Be Made From


Once you know the type of fence you need, you’ll choose what that fence will be made of. If you get a wood fence, that may require a bit more maintenance than other types of fences. Materials you can choose from include:


Chain link

Vinyl

Wrought iron

Aluminum 


There are many advantages and disadvantages to these materials so do your research and discover which one will be best for you. You can even mix and match fencing materials. You may be able to use one type of fencing material in the front of your home and another kind of fencing in the back. You can get as creative as you need to be.       



Use Natural Borders


If fencing isn’t your thing, you can create borders around your property using natural barriers like shrubs, bushes, or trees. Using natural barriers is a surefire way to add curb appeal and gain some privacy as well.


Research Fencing Types


As with anything in your home, a little research can go a long way. You want to take the time to see what the best kind of fence is for you to put up. Another thing to do before you put up a fence is to talk with your neighbors. You don’t want to start a big project that will be right on their property line and get them upset with you. Depending on the nature of your neighborhood, you may even need a written agreement with your neighbors before you build a fence.     



Image by skeeze from Pixabay

When looking for a luxury home, you can look for the most expensive neighborhood in the United States, or you can choose a luxury neighborhood in the part of the country you want to live in. Before you move to a different state, be sure you'll like the part of the country you choose.

Luxury Home Price Variances

Depending on where you choose to live, the cost of luxury varies — and it varies widely. You’ll find luxurious neighborhoods in Rapid City, South Dakota for a median price of $242,200. The most expensive luxury neighborhood is in zip code 94027 — Atherton, California. This luxury neighborhood has a median home price of $7,313,400.

Other luxury neighborhoods include:

  • 96821 — Honolulu, Hawaii, with a median price of $1,370,900;

  • 85253 — Paradise Valley, Arizona, with a median price of $1,588,200;

  • 60610 — Chicago, Illinois, with a median price of $1,885,900;

  • 06830 — Greenwich, Connecticut, with a median price of $2,056,900;

  • 33921 — Palm Beach, Florida, with a median price of $4,394,000; and

  • 81611 — Aspen, Colorado, with a median price of $4,869,200.

  • You can live in a luxury neighborhood for less money if you choose a state with a lower luxury median price. You’ll find that the cost of living is also less in those states. However, make sure the area you choose has the amenities you want. If you are expecting to have theme parks, upscale shopping and other amenities, you might want to choose a larger city, even though the median luxury price is much higher.

    What to Look For in a Luxury Home

    In some cases, luxury costs under $300,000 – and in other cases, it’s not luxury until you hit several million dollars. Regardless of the median luxury home price, always check what prices homes sold for in the neighborhood and the quality of the materials used to build the home. Other items to check include:

  • Are the appliances upgraded?

  • Did the builder use high-quality fixtures, including faucets and toilets?

  • Are the cabinets real wood?

  • Is the flooring top quality tile, wood or some other covering?

  • Is the carpet high-quality or “builder’s quality?”

  • What kind of windows are in the house? Are they at least double-pane windows?

  • Is the trim in the house made of real wood, stone or some other quality material?

  • Is the yard well-maintained?

  • Does the house have large bedrooms and closets?

  • Does the house have extras, such as a pantry, bonus rooms or a pool?

  • When you check for comparables, don’t forget to allow for those extras. The home you are looking at might not have the same amenities as another home in the neighborhood that is going for the same price. This leaves things open for negotiations if not having something, such as a pool, is not a deal-breaker.


    Selling a home sometimes can be a hassle, particularly if a homebuyer wants to negotiate. Fortunately, expert real estate agents are happy to help you take the guesswork out of a home selling negotiation.

    Ultimately, there are several reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent to handle a home selling negotiation, including:

    1. A real estate agent boasts comprehensive experience with home selling negotiations.

    Let's face it – a home selling negotiation can be stressful. But with a real estate agent at your disposal, you can receive plenty of guidance as you make the final push to sell your residence.

    A real estate agent is a master of the art of negotiation. As such, he or she will help you seamlessly navigate a home selling negotiation.

    Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you up to date as a home selling negotiation approaches its conclusion. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased recommendations, ensuring you can make informed decisions at each stage of a negotiation.

    2. A real estate agent will ensure both you and a homebuyer get the best results possible.

    As a home seller, your goal is to get the best price for your residence. Meanwhile, a homebuyer likely wants to purchase your residence at a price that suits his or her budget perfectly.

    Finding common ground with a homebuyer may prove to be difficult. Lucky for you, a real estate agent will work with both a home seller and a homebuyer to guarantee both parties are satisfied with the end results of a negotiation.

    A real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to understand your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly.

    Furthermore, this housing market professional will serve as a liaison between you and a homebuyer. He or she will work directly with you and a homebuyer to finalize a home sale agreement that meets the needs of both property seller and buyer.

    3. A real estate agent will help you overcome any challenges during a home selling negotiation.

    There is no need to let challenges arise during a home selling negotiation. Conversely, a real estate agent will help you identify any potential problems and mitigate such issues before they escalate.

    For example, a homebuyer may make a variety of home improvement demands after a property inspection. And if a home seller refuses to complete these property improvements, a homebuyer may walk away from a home sale.

    A real estate agent will help a home seller prep his or her house for a property inspection. Plus, he or she can provide details about a homebuyer's demands after a property inspection and help a home seller determine the best way to proceed.

    Ready to finalize a home sale? Collaborate with a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you during a home selling negotiation and ensure you can optimize the value of your house.


    The real estate market can be tough to navigate, especially if you want to obtain the best price for your house. Fortunately, we're here to help you analyze the housing sector and make informed decisions as you sell your residence.

    Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you review the real estate market before you list your home.

    1. Assess Housing Market Data

    Learn about the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own residence. That way, you can establish a price range for your house.

    Furthermore, it often is beneficial to check out the prices of recently sold residences in your area. This real estate market data will enable you to see how quickly houses are available before they sell. As such, this information may help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market.

    2. Conduct a House Inspection

    A home inspection generally is reserved for buyers who request an inspection after a property seller accepts an offer to purchase. However, taking a proactive approach to a home inspection may go a long way toward helping you distinguish your residence from others in a competitive housing market.

    During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence both inside and outside. This property expert then will offer an inspection report that details his or her findings. And once you have this report, you can prioritize home repairs.

    Ultimately, a home inspection may help you take an objective view of your residence. After you conduct an inspection, you can complete home repairs that may help you boost your house's value as well.

    3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

    If you are struggling to understand how the housing market works, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can collaborate with a real estate agent and receive housing market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

    Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and help you map out a home selling strategy. This plan will account for the age and condition of your home, your home selling goals and the current state of the real estate market. As a result, your home selling strategy will enable you to achieve the optimal results at each stage of the home selling journey.

    Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide as you navigate the home selling journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to promote your residence to prospective buyers. Also, if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine the best course of action.

    Perform a deep analysis of the housing market before you list your residence – you'll be happy you did. By reviewing the real estate sector, you can find unique ways to ensure your house stands out to potential buyers and accelerate the home selling journey.




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