Family hanging out in newly moved in living room.

5 Tricks to Score Your Dream Home for Less

Marni Epstein-Mervis2-minute read
UPDATED: November 08, 2022

You finally found your dream home. It’s in a great neighborhood ten minutes from the office and the updated gourmet kitchen feels like you designed it yourself. Everything lines up with your wish list – except for the price tag. Well, while you may go to the store and pay the marked price for an apple, real estate is one commodity that’s meant to be haggled over. Homes for sale have a list price, but that’s not necessarily the price the home will sell for. Consider these tips if you’re trying to score your dream home for less.

Look for Homes That Have Been Sitting

If you want to put yourself in the best position to negotiate from the get-go, start your open house search with homes that have been on the real estate market for a little while. Sellers with homes that have been sitting on the market are likely to be more open to all offers, even a low offer. Narrow down which houses for sale have been sitting on the real estate market for more than 60 days – you may just be able to score your dream home!

Need a real estate agent?

Match with a local expert.

Make A Large Escrow Deposit

Most often, home-sellers are looking for an easy and swift sale. That means they want to see you’re a serious buyer. So, if you’re planning to get your dream home for cheap, you may sweeten your low offer with a large escrow deposit. Scoring your dream home for cheap may just be possible if you’re able to convince the home sellers you mean business.

Offer a Quick Closing Date or Few Contingencies

Similarly, sweetening the offer on your dream home by including limited contingencies can entice sellers to say “yes.” A sale is likely to close faster with limited, or no contingencies. Limited contingencies, should be carefully considered by any buyer, as contingencies can help protect you from unknowingly buying a home in terrible condition.

Don’t Ask for Extras

It can be tempting to ask for an extra or two. Whether it’s that sweet ping-pong table in basement or a renovation like fixing a small crack in the floor, an extra might feel like the cherry on top that turns a great home into your dream home. But if you want a dream price, it’s best to resist the urge to ask for more than the home. You can always furnish and make repairs after you accomplish the most important task – getting your low offer accepted. You should also avoid asking for seller concessions like help with the closing costs. Don’t give a seller any reason to choose someone else’s offer over yours.

Include a Few Weeks of Occupancy

If you plan to purchase your new home with a mortgage, you’ll have a full month before you need to make your first payment after the closing. As long as you’re not in a hurry to move in, giving the seller a few weeks or the whole month to comfortably move out of the home can give you a big advantage over competing offers. Many sellers appreciate extra time to pack up their things or finalize the purchase of their future home. Free occupancy is low-cost perk that can go a long way toward getting your low offer accepted.

Making Your Dreams a Reality

Scoring a great deal on your dream home is all about doing your research and making a low offer seem more attractive to the seller. Whether it’s putting up a healthy escrow deposit to show you’re a serious buyer or being willing to close quickly, there are a number of tricks you can use to make sure that your offer is entertained.

You know your dream home.

We’ll help you find it.

Marni Epstein-Mervis

The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.