Found the home of your dreams? Good, now keep it to yourself!

Make no mistake: buying a home is a negotiation, and sometimes the less you reveal, the better off you are. You know what a poker face is? Put it on. Now.

To ensure you get the best price possible, here are 5 Homebuying Tips that you should follow:

  • 1) Know Your Enemy. Okay, so the seller isn’t really your enemy, but they are on the other end of the negotiating table. So knowledge is key. This is where you play detective and find out what you can about the seller. Why are they selling? How long has the home been for sale? What is their reason (or reasons) for moving? Every little bit can be used as ammunition in the negotiating process. Just don’t Facebook stalk. That’s classless. (Side Tip: The seller is going to be doing the same to you. This is where you don’t tell them that their home is the home of your dreams. There isn’t a faster way to put them in the driving seat.)
  • 2) Know the Market. This is equally important. Find out the selling prices of homes similar to the one you are considering. If possible, find out the values of the homes in the same neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to turn to your real estate agent for help, here.
  • 3) Do Not Lowball! Doing so is a sure way to kick off the negotiating process on a sour note. It can be insulting and it won’t encourage the seller to actually work with you, which is the ultimate goal. Worst case scenario: you get an outright rejection. Buyer, meet the door.
  • 4) Get a Little Greedy. This may seem like a contradiction to Tip #4, but read on. The homebuying process is not just about the bottom-line price. The homeseller can — and often will — throw it items to sweeten the pot. We’re talking appliances, fixtures, etc. If you saw something you liked when you looked out the house, take note. You’ll never get what you don’t ask for.
  • 5) Keep Your Emotions in Check. You are talking about the biggest purchase of your life. It’s easy to get emotional. Don’t. This goes for all emotions: excitement, nervousness, fear, anger. Keep your emotions in check, particularly that last one. Like any interaction in life, you need to listen and understand the other party. This will ultimately increase the likelihood of a positive outcome — for both sides.