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Tips For Negotiating What You Want In Your San Diego Home

Everything is negotiable in a contract. You can always ask for something or give something in a contract – even in a purchase for a home. If you have an idea of what you want in your home, not just the building itself, but attendant structures, landscaping, furniture, fixtures, and even holdover services (such as utilities), then you can negotiate for them.

San Diego is famous for its mild climate, top ten beaches, and outdoors activities.  Did you move to San Diego to take advantage of its sunny-disposition? Maybe you don’t want to move into a property without sundeck furniture, beach chairs, or bicycles? Everything can be on the table if you want it to be, and this is done entirely through the negotiation process.

Using an Agent

Your real estate agent is there to coordinate your negotiating positions during your real estate transaction. If you're new to the buyer market, it may be difficult to understand how to initiate a contract negotiation. You can contact the seller directly, however, this typically isn’t done for a few reasons. First, the real estate industry is thick with complex terms and acronyms that are difficult to master. Second, since you may struggle with communicating effectively, you risk divulging sensitive information or even legally-binding language without being aware of it. A real estate agent knows how to communicate your position without accidentally binding you into a particular provision or sale term.

Moreover, purchasing a property is more than a nod and a handshake between you and the seller. You can ask your real estate agent to secure other things under the contract but you should not do it yourself because anything you say could affect your mortgage, the seller’s mortgage, or even infringe on the contract rights of yours or the seller’s real estate agent.

Contract Negotiation

Before any negotiation, you need to know what you need, want, and could give up. For example, a need would be a home with four walls, doors, windows, a kitchen, bathroom, and closets. Basically, the standard things that make a property “livable” for a family. Wants may include HVAC, mood-lighting, recessed lights, a kitchen island, a waterfall showerhead, landscaped yard, cobblestone pathway, or any improvements or repairs an owner may need to be aware of.

Finally, things you could give up are “wants” that are not deal-breakers for you. You can negotiate for anything you want, but you do need to clarify what you want vs. need. Armed with this knowledge, speak to your real estate agent and move on from there.

Leveraging the needs against the wants is an important part of the negotiation process that allows you to get the most out of your contract with the listing agent. It's in the best interest of both parties that they come to an agreement with the terms of the purchase contract - especially in the case of a contingent contract.

It's important to work with a buyer agent that will fight for you during the contract negotiation so you can end up with the San Diego home of your dreams.


Similar to requesting improvements or fixtures, you can also ask for remodels. Most people assume that they need to accept the home they purchase “as-is.” However, that isn’t necessarily true. If there are aspects of the home that need “fixing up” you can use that to negotiate a lower purchase price in comparison to the list price or greater attendant benefits (such as utilities being covered for the first few months). However, if you need your home to have a certain feature, such as a sundeck or patio, then you can negotiate for a remodel to include those features. Remember, everything is negotiable in a contract – so never be afraid to ask.

Steele San Diego Homes can help you negotiate the purchase of your San Diego real estate.  The real estate market is opaque and complicated which makes it ripe for any unscrupulous people to take advantage of home buyers and sellers who may be misguided by complications. Steele San Diego Homes is committed to providing exemplary service, maintaining their integrity, keeping the process fun and growth for their clients.

If you're looking for help with a real estate transaction, the agents at Steele San Diego Homes can help you! Whether it's guiding through an inspection, helping juggle multiple offers, or working on a pre-approval letter with the bank, the agents at Steele San Diego Homes can help buyers and sellers with their real estate goals. Schedule a time to meet with us by filling out this form.

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