There are many, many schools of thought when it comes to negotiating for a property. And I have to point out that the schools can differ widely when it comes to negotiating for a personal home versus and income property.
For investment real estate purposes, I recommend using time as your friend. Especially in this market. Let me explain.
First, you are trying to purchase a future. Not a house. You are buying this rental home because you believe it will help you retire in comfort. Not because you need something to do on weekends. So the first item of business it to come up with an offer price and a walk-away price. A price you will not exceed because the property won’t be profitable “enough” (whatever that is) for you.
Then, when you make your offer you need not be in a hurry to end the process. If you’ve offered low enough you will invite a counter offer to see how far the seller is willing to move. But don’t offer too low as I’ve talked about that here. Anyway, I always like to let the seller stew over night…or even over two nights. I want him to know that he has a viable buyer on the line and that he might let him go if he’s not careful. And if he is countering over your walk-away price I want him to know that you are walking away. You would be surprised how flexible a seller can be once a buyer has walked.
I’m not going to go into the complete psychology of this. I’m not really qualified. I can tell you that it works more often than not. But you do HAVE to be willing to walk away and look for another property. It’s the only way it will work. Because remember, the seller (also an investor) has experience at this, too.