How To Negotiate Down The Price Of Your Dream Home

Kenneth Wilson

After careful consideration and weeks of searching, you've found the perfect home. Now it's time to get started on your due diligence! The first step for most buyers is going through a home inspection.

A home inspection reveals any defects in the property that may have not been visible during the initial walkthrough (sometimes even if you interviewed a contractor). This is a chance for the buyer to find any problems before making an offer. It may also help you get the price of the house reduced with a counter offer if lots of things need fixing, as you may be able to negotiate the price down now that you know exactly what needs fixing. 

This article provides background information on why this strategy is useful and tips for negotiation - what tools should be used in bargaining down from the asking price and making a counter offer exactly?

Property listings often come with an asking price, but it's not uncommon for buyers to expect the same price they saw in an online listing. This is often because buyers don't know the true value of their dream home. When you are ready to buy your dream home, learn how to barter for a deal by making an offer below the asking price.

The Home Inspection

Pro Tip- The best time to make a counter-offer is after the home inspection when you're advised what needs fixing and what doesn't.

You can ask how much they would take off the price of the house if you agreed to fix some of or all of the items on their list, and show that you are eager and willing to fix any defects if they will reduce the price. The seller may be more inclined to accept a lower offer if they think that you'll make their sale easier.

Once you've decided on how much of the repairs will be completed before purchase, let your real estate agent know so he or she can contact the seller with counter-offer on your behalf about this. Remember, it's a negotiation and anything can happen!

What To Do During The Inspection

During the home inspection, take notes on what would need fixing for a counter-offer on the price of the house. This will improve your bargaining position with the seller, showing that you are willing to go to extra lengths if they just reduce the price a little bit.

What Not To Do During The Inspection

You should avoid any behavior that might be interpreted as desperation. You may also want to avoid talking too much about the price of the house and making excuses for not liking it. This will make you seem like you are really attached to the seller's offer and could end up looking desperate in the long run.

As a buyer, it's essential that you don't agree to fix just anything on your home inspection report, as this could end up costing you thousands of dollars more than if everything were fixed before purchase. Take some time and really read through the home inspection report. If you have the time, get a second opinion to confirm if everything is bad enough to warrant fixing.

Once you've decided what needs to be fixed and what can wait, write up an agreement on how much it will cost for the seller to fix everything in your home inspection report (with both parties agreeing how long the repairs will take to complete), as well as what exactly is being fixed. The key is to make sure you're not creating any problems for yourself in the process of negotiation by over extending yourself with what you suggest to fix.

How to Counter An Offer After The Inspection

If the price of your dream home is too high, it may be a smart idea to negotiate or counter-offer the selling price. During the inspection period, it's best to check what needs fixing and what doesn't with a professional licensed home inspector so that when you counter-offer, you can use that opportunity to negotiate for a better deal. If the inspector tells you what needs to be fixed, state what needs fixing and offer to fix it for free in exchange for a reduction on the selling price of the home.

It's important to know what you're buying before you buy it. A home inspection is a good way to find out if your dream house will need expensive repairs or maintenance in the future. 

You'll want to make sure that any fixes are done before you purchase the property, because once the sale goes through, it may be difficult for either side of the deal to back out of anything.

The only exception would be if an item isn't something that needs fixing right away and can wait until later - in this case, both parties should come up with a timeline on when they expect the fix to happen so there are no surprises down the road.

You might be surprised to find that many sellers are actually willing to negotiate with you on this, especially if there aren't that many other offers they need to deal with. Even though it's frowned upon by most real estate agents, negotiating down the price of your dream home is something you should try because it allows you to get the house that you want at a price that is even lower than what they're offering it to you for.

When negotiating, remember these tips:

  • Don't be afraid to ask for something else in addition to the price reduction. Maybe they'll throw in a new dishwasher.
  • Remember, this is an inspection of their home and they probably won't accept every request you have.
  • Don't be rude or combative, just ask for a deal and then see what happens next.

Is It Worth Negotiating Down the Price?

Negotiate down the price of your dream home when you see a lot that needs fixing. It's important to remember however not to create problems for yourself by agreeing to fix everything if you don't have to.

Know when it's time to walk away from the negotiation. Sometimes the seller may think they've found a sucker and will try to take advantage of that by asking for unreasonable repairs or price reductions in addition to what they've already offered.

It's not uncommon for buyers to expect the same price for a home that they saw in an online listing, or a home they just toured. This is often because buyers don't know the true value of their dream home. You can find out how much your dream home is worth by going through the process of bargaining down from the asking price and looking at comparable sales in the neighborhood.

Most home buyers will just assume that they can't negotiate the price of a house. If you feel that this is true about your dream home, then you are probably overpaying for it by at least $10,000. Once you are able to fight through the fear of dealing with the seller and address how much your dream home could be worth, you'll be able to walk away with a much better deal.

When home buyers begin their search, they will go online and look at listings that have sold in the area. This is a useful way to get an idea of what your dream home could be worth.

What To Do When Seller Won't Negotiate?

If the seller will not negotiate, you have three options:

  • Try to find another house
  • Try to buy this house at the asking price, and ask that the list of repairs are taken care of before closing
  • Hold off for a better offer. The seller may reconsider their position if they realize 


Everyone's journey to find their dream home starts with the first step. Before you begin your search, you need to do a lot of research to make sure that you're looking in the right area. It is always important for someone who is searching for their ideal home base to look at comparable sales in the area.

There are a lot of different factors that go into purchasing a house, but one thing you should never forget about is bargaining down the price. This may seem like an intimidating task at first, but it's actually quite easy to do if you know how. During the home inspection when you're advised of what needs fixing and what doesn't; counter-offer by asking how much they would take off for agreeing to fix everything on their list.

Just remember not to create problems for yourself by agreeing to fix something if you don't need it or can't afford it. The best time to bargain with your seller is during the inspection when we find out which repairs will be needed and which won't and what the associated costs might amount to. Hopefully, we've given you some helpful tips to make the bargaining process a lot easier. Happy home buying!

Kenneth Wilson
August 25, 2021
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Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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