Negotiation: Friend or Foe?

Negotiation: Friend or Foe?


It can be the fun part of a real estate deal.

Or a nightmare of stress and worry…

If you know what to expect, you can think of it as a fun game when buying your next home!

Once you have found your dream home and have all the details of your offer in place, your agent will submit the offer (usually via email) to the listing agent. And, you’ll sit on pins and needles until your agent gets a response…

Depending on how strong an offer you made and how competitive the market is at the time of your offer, you will get one of 3 responses:

  1. The seller will accept your offer as is. (Yay!)
  2. The seller will respond with a counteroffer.
  3. The seller will decline your offer altogether.

If there is a counter offer, that basically means there is a brand new contract. As the buyer, you are not obligated to accept the counteroffer. You can walk away, or counter back again. This process can repeat itself as many times as is necessary.

Your buyer’s agent will go back and forth with the listing agent and keep you up to date on what’s happening. Be sure you let your agent know how you want to communicate: text, email, or phone calls.

Negotiating the terms of a contract can take a few hours or even a few days. It all depends on how many details need to be worked out, how quickly the sellers respond, and how much time everyone needs to think about and discuss their decisions.

In a perfect situation, the seller gets their asking price and the buyer can happily afford it. But, that’s not always the case. Be prepared for a little give and take.

Unless you are in a super hot market where you basically have no choice but to offer the asking price (or above asking!) to win the bid on the house you want, one side or the other may have to give something up. You might have to give up the home warranty or some of those closing costs you asked for in order to make the deal work.

What items should you consider fighting for or letting go in negotiations?

  • Home Warranty
  • Closing costs
  • Asking the seller to pay for the termite inspection
  • Appliances or other furniture
  • Seller paying 6 months of HOA fees

Yes, this can be a stressful time in the home buying process. Try to be patient and know that in real estate…everything always works out as it should. If you look at it this way, the process can be fun and exciting!

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