You found the perfect house or your buyer finally came through. Before you lose yourself in real estate deal terms and wind up walking away, keep the big negotiation picture firmly in mind.
Negotiating fairly means leaving a little something on the table for your deal partner. That doesn’t mean you should overpay for your home or voluntarily repave the driveway before you move out, but it does mean that you should consider their feelings and motivations. Deals fall apart every day over a refusal to come down a few thousand dollars in price.
Try to avoid making negotiations emotional. This is much easier if you have a palatable fallback option. Entering into deal talks with one and only one plan makes you desperate and more likely to acquiesce to possibly unfair terms.
For example, when searching for homes, always have alternate choices and keep them firmly in mind. This makes it easier to walk away when the homeowner refuses to budge on price or terms. On the other hand, if you truly love the home, is paying another $10,000 really that big of a deal?
Sellers should remember that buyers expect homes delivered in livable condition. If your dishwasher isn’t working, fix it or provide a credit in cash. Make sure that you deliver the home in as promised condition because your buyer will perform a walkthrough just before closing. Do you really want to find out on the morning of the close that the seller reneged because you removed the washer and dryer?
Finally, remember that asking prices are just that. It is meant to start a conversation and is not a hard and fast number. Remember that to get a little you have to give a little, too – and that makes negotiating much easier.
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