When it comes to buying a home your negotiation smarts can go a long way toward protecting your best interested and your cash. After the jump, learn about 9 critical negotiation tips to help ensure you’re getting the best deal!

1. Set your priorities early.

Knowing what’s really important early on is critical to getting a great deal. Ultimately, the bar for whether your negotiation is successful is determined by what the home and contract terms are worth to you.

2. Know your local environment.

The best negotiators are the most informed. To get the best deal when buying, ask your agent to provide data on these critical local factors:

– recent sold prices from similar homes;

– average difference between asking and sold price;

– average days on market for similar properties.

The Gus Anthony Team is able to provide this information to serious home buyers. It’s called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

3. Get the inside scoop.

Don’t make a blind offer. Make sure you ask your agent to explain market data and how the numbers relate to your transaction. He or she may also know valuable transaction specifics that can strengthen your position, like whether or not the sellers need to move quickly.

4. Problem solve for all parties.

Traditionally, negotiations were a two-way power struggle between buyer and seller. Now, buyers have to consider bank, appraisers, and sometimes even property associations that all have their own guidelines and needs that impact the terms of the deal.

It’s more important now than ever to approach your negotiation as an exercise in problem solving, with the aim of meeting the needs of as many parties as possible.

5. Bond with your bank.

Too often transactions fall through at financing. Work in advance to make sure your deal doesn’t die at closing. This means working with your agent and mortgage broker to secure back-up financing in case things go awry with your first loan.

6. Manage your own mindset.

Remember, when negotiating, the least emotional parties usually have the most power. The more attached your are to a particular home, price point, or set of terms, the more likely your are to panic or cave in on important point, like price, unnecessarily.

Lean on (and listen to) your agent for objective support throughout the transaction. It’s his or her job to help ensure you’re making the best business and life decision.

7. Learn (and accept) the “negotiables.”

To manage stamina during the negotiation, find out early what is and isn’t within each party’s control.

Your agent can help you stay clear on this and avoid the emotional exhaustion that results from trying to haggle in areas that aren’t really negotiable (e.g., the bank’s bottom line, cosmetic repairs on most foreclosures, etc.)

8. Minimize time pressures.

When buying or selling a home, moving deadlines can cost you thousands of dollars and cause you to make needless compromises because you’re in a rush.

When buying or selling, here are a few ways to buy yourself time:

– plan and search early when possible;

– locate temporary rentals; and

– develop a plan-B for closing day in case you encounter last-minute hurdles.

9. Act quickly – not impulsively.

When you find “your” place, make an offer. When you get a counteroffer or response, respond to it. In real estate, time is always of the essence, and prolonged hesitation often results in lost opportunities.

There’s nothing wrong with sleeping on a decision overnight, if the “right” move is unclear. But keep in mind, there are competing buyers and changing interest rates lurking which can change the whole bargaining dynamic at any minute.

So to sum up remember to set priorities early (including your bottom- and top-line prices) and get the inside scoop about your local environment from your real estate agent. Don’t forget that there are several parties involved who each have different requests. Make sure to bond with your bank to set a plan-B in place. Maintain control of your emotions and listen to your agent! Finally keep in mind that time is the biggest factor in real estate negotiations. Follow these 9 tips to keep your dream home from slipping through your hands.

This information comes from Truilia.com, a trusted source for all things real estate including listings across the country.