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Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. It’s a large part of what real estate brokers do, and often what is missing when home sellers are seduced by those ‘sell your own home’ articles that make everything seem so simple.
You see, the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a home deal pretty quickly. Not just when it comes to the actual dollar amounts being negotiated but to the timing of the offer and even the requests made from buyer to seller that sometimes get a little out of hand.
Here are some negotiation tactics buyers should avoid:
Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
“Take It or Leave it”
Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
Nitpicking After Inspection
Obviously if a home inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate. For example, do you really want to miss out on your dream home – which may the case in an active market – just because you feel that a few cracked tiles in the bathroom merits a price reduction?
Asking for More, More, More
Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. And perhaps that’s OK – there’s no harm in asking if you really like something – but making your offer contingent on the request is probably a mistake.
Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think you’re being greedy. If you must, ask nicely. If the seller declines, accept the rejection gracefully and make the offer you think is fair.
Failing to Heed Your Real Estate Agent’s Advice
As we mentioned at the beginning, successful negotiation skills are one of the primary skills any good real estate agent has in bucketfuls. So offer we offer advice, we can assure you it is for a good reason and not, as we have sometimes seen suggested in some of those FSBO forums. Helping you get the right price is a part of our job, and we will do everything that is sensible to achieve that.