Best way to negotiate for seller assistance

Asked by Kristy, Texas Wed Mar 5, 2008

We are in the position of needing some seller assistance for down payment and closing costs because some investments went underwater for a little while and I don't want to pull out early. I'm hearing that needing seller assistance severly limits our choices. However, we are looking at homes well below our budget, and would be willing to offer full asking price in exchange for some cash assistance (we are going with an FHA loan). Is that the best approach? We don't want to get messed up on the appraisal becuase we obviously couldn't make up the difference.

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Ginger R., Home Seller, Massachusetts
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Hi Kristy - As mentioned in responses to your earlier post, you need a good buyers agent to start. You need a very experienced buyer's agent who is familiar with different financing scenarios. Then you need a mortgage lender and get pre-approved. Then go find the house.
For the agent, talk to at least three and then pick the best one for you. The agents can recommend some mortgage lenders and I would definitely shop the loan - don't take the first lender who says they can do this because costs on specialty loans can vary sharply. And there are other concerns than just appraisal - lenders may restrict cash assistance. All the more reason to work thru what loan programs might be available to you before you shop for a house.
You can peruse Trulia and see agents answers and perhaps find one from your area that you like. If Naima, who answered your earlier post is not from your area, you could ask her for a recommendation. I think it is great that you are taking the initiative here. But not using a buyer's agent will cost you time, not save you money and perhaps cost you lost savings.
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