10 Cities Where It Pays to Negotiate on Home Price

Millennial couple negotiating a home mortgage offer
G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.

Buying a house can be stressful. For many people, it turns out to be the most significant and expensive financial transaction of their lives.

Scoring a deal can help allay some anxiety. But even though you’re able to haggle over a home price, it pays to know where your negotiation skills may prove most effective.

That’s why SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the metro areas in America where it pays off to negotiate on your home.

In order to find the metro areas where it pays off the most to negotiate on home price, SmartAsset analyzed data across 100 of the largest metro areas in the U.S. Specifically, we looked at the following two metrics:

  • Percentage of listings with a price cut. This is the average percentage of current for-sale listings that experienced a price cut between August 2019 and July 2020.
  • Median price reduction. This is the median price cut of the above-mentioned listings, month-over-month, for the same time period.

Data for both metrics comes from Zillow, and we then performed calculations to reflect year-long averages. First, we ranked each metro area in each metric. From there, we found each metro area’s average ranking, assigning each metric an equal weight.

We used each metro area’s average ranking to create our final score. The place with the best average ranking received a score of 100 while the place with the worst average ranking received a score of zero.

Following are the metro areas where negotiating home prices pays off most.

10. Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com

The market in Indianapolis saw 20.07% of listings take a price cut between August 2019 and July 2020, the third-highest rate for this metric in the study.

The median price reduction is 2.26%, 53rd-highest in the study.

9. Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio
Pedro Gutierrez / Shutterstock.com

The first Ohio metro area in our top 10 is Cleveland, located on the shores of Lake Erie.

It ranks fifth overall for median price reduction, at 3.44%, and 67th overall for the percentage of listings with a price cut, at 14.70%.

8. Rochester, New York

Rochester, New York
Sirichai netthong / Shutterstock.com

Rochester, New York, has a real estate market with a median August 2019 to July 2020 price reduction of 3.83%, the second-highest rate for this metric in the study.

Additionally, more than 13% of the listings in this metro area have had a price cut.

7. Cincinnati

Cincinnati
Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com

Another Ohio metro area, Cincinnati, takes the No. 7 spot. Cincinnati is one of just two top 10 locales to place in the top 20 for both of our metrics.

That includes coming in 17th overall for the percentage of listings with a price reduction, at 18.04%, and 20th overall for the median price reduction, at 2.82%.

6. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Pittsburgh has a median August 2019 to July 2020 price reduction of 3.30%, the seventh-highest rate for this metric in our study.

The Steel City metro area also places 45th overall for the percentage of homes with a price reduction, at 16.01%.

5. Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
Kristopher Kettner / Shutterstock.com

The Windy City leads the study in terms of the percentage of listings with a price reduction — with 20.76% of all listings having seen a price drop.

The median price reduction in the Chicago metro area is 2.30%, ranking it 52nd overall.

4. Detroit

Detroit, Michigan
Harold Stiver / Shutterstock.com

Detroit has gone through many periods of decline and revitalization in the past few decades, but it is still a good market for homebuyers. The metro area places in the top 20 for both of our metrics.

The median price reduction between August 2019 and July 2020 was 2.97%, ranking 15th overall, and the percentage of listings with a price reduction was 17.83%, ranking 20th overall.

3. Toledo, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio
T.Slack / Shutterstock.com

The third Ohio locale to make the top 10 is Toledo, another metro area on the shores of Lake Erie. The median August 2019 to July 2020 price reduction in Toledo is 3.40%, sixth-best overall.

Furthermore, the metro area places 46th overall in terms of the percentage of listings with a price reduction, at 16.01%.

2. Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Akron is the last of four Ohio metro areas that rank within the top 10 of the study. Akron has the third-highest median price reduction in this study, decreasing 3.55% between August 2019 and July 2020.

With 15.53% of listings in this metro area having had a price cut, Akron ranks toward the middle of the pack for that metric, at No. 54.

1. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com

Between August 2019 and July 2020, homes in Buffalo, New York, had an average price reduction of 3.93%, the highest in the study. If you don’t mind the relatively cold winters, you can likely get a pretty good price on a home there. More than 14% of the listings in Buffalo have had a price cut.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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