Put Your Foot Down
I make a living negotiating. If you think about it, most of us negotiate on a daily basis, whether we get paid to do it or not. We negotiate with our significant other while deciding on what to have for dinner. We negotiate with our children in order for them to get ready for bed. We even think we can negotiate with our pets but we all know they win every time. Most things in life can be negotiated to be a win-win. In life and business dealings, it’s always best if both parties can give a little and come to a mutually acceptable solution. What if you have given all you can and the other party is not willing to budge? Sometimes you have to put your foot down. Sometimes you have to evaluate the pros and cons and walk away.
In a real estate transaction, both parties ultimately want the same thing – to close the deal. The Seller wants to sell and the Buyer wants to buy. In most transactions, both parties give some. Here are the points of negotiation in a residential real estate transaction:
- Offer details: Price is not the only point of negotiation in the initial stages of a home sale. There are many other variables and terms that must be agreed upon in order to even have a meeting of the minds and get a house under contract. When will it close? How much earnest money will the Buyer put down? How many days will the Buyer have to do inspections?
- Inspection items: A Buyer will give the Seller a list of items he wants repaired or replaced prior to closing. These items are all negotiable and there are many ways to come to agreement.
- Appraisal: If the sale is contingent on appraisal, the appraiser must value the property at the purchase price or higher. If it does not appraise for that amount or higher, the parties can negotiate the price again. Seller may give and Buyers may give.
Every transaction has many points of negotiation. Only you can decide how far you are willing and/or able to go when it comes to giving in. Sometimes the other party is just a bully and you must put your foot down. If you go that route, make sure you are OK walking away. If you are the Seller, are you willing to lose that buyer and possibly wait for an extended period of time to get another contract? If you are the Buyer, are you willing to look for another house and start the process all over again? Of course, these are all things that a professional Realtor handles on a daily basis. They can help you negotiate and figure out whether it is time to step it up or step away.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.