Agent

Lowball offer wise in buyer’s market

How to avoid overpaying when defects are discovered

DEAR BOB: I recently found a first-floor condo that I was ready to make an offer on. However, when my buyer's agent took me for a second viewing, we discovered water dripping from the ceiling in one of the bedrooms and a small pool of water in the second bedroom. The condo, in a completely renovated building, comes with a two-year builder's warranty. The unit has not been lived in since the renovation was recently completed. Besides repairing the leaks, I expect replacement of the hardwood floors where the water damage occurred. With the current slow "buyer's market," I planned to make a "lowball offer." But I worry the builder won't want to lose any money and will refuse to replace the floors. I want to make a strong offer but am afraid I will lose bargaining power when making repair requests. Any negotiation advice on this? --Alexa S. DEAR ALEXA: You can always raise your purchase offer, but you can't lower it. Make a low offer with the repair conditions you want. If the renovator sa...