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When the seller sets an asking price, it is often slightly higher than the price they will accept. The reason typically is to leave room for negotiation. 

Here are a few tips to help you fine-tune your negotiating skills and pay the price you want for the home of your dreams:

  1. Ask your real estate professional for the sale prices of similar homes in the area. Compare the prices listed with the asking price of the home you want to make an offer on.

  2. Determine how high you are willing to bid based on your finances.

  3. Ask your real estate agent to give you an opinion of your counter offer. You may be advised to bid higher or lower depending on the market conditions, value of the house or even the seller's situation. Carefully consider what your agent is telling you, but it’s ultimately your decision. 

Sometimes the seller is more receptive to negotiating if he/she is anxious to move. You might also consider negotiating with the seller for repairs that need to be made in lieu of negotiating on the asking price.

Another thing that can help in this negotiation is to get pre-qualified and/or pre-approved for a mortgage if you have not already.  Sellers always view offers from potential buyers that have been pre-qualified or pre-approved by a lender to be more desirable than from those that have not.