Make an Offer (and Negotiating), Part 2

Having witnessed the interaction between countless buyers and sellers in my career, I am able to share a few tips for buyers about how to posture, and some do’s and don’ts:

1. If you are late for an appointment where the seller is waiting, apologize. This will diffuse an angry seller.

2. Give the seller a sincere compliment. For example, “I love your landscaping, and your home shows very nicely.”  Most buyers think compliments like this will start a mental cash register for a seller, forcing you to pay more.  Don’t be silly.

3. Having rapport with a seller may be the difference between them choosing your offer and another. 

4. Make sure your kids are well behaved as you tour the home.

5. If you are going to make an offer, indicate to the seller that they should be hearing back from you or your agent. Why play games?  It does no any good.

6. If you make a “low” offer, DO NOT make a list of all the reasons, i.e.:

a. Your carpet is shot, and needs to be repalced.  b. The kitchen is dated.  c. Landscaping needs help.

Believe it or not, I have had buyers insist on doing this. Three guesses on how the seller handled their offers.

7. Know your next move in advance. Don’t take 4-5 days to give a counter offer. Do it in a few hours. This will let the seller know that you are sincere.

8. Be aware that if you find the property to be very desirable, chances are, in any market, another buyer feels the same way. Be prepared for another bid to come in while you are negotiating.  It’s Murphy’s Law!

9. When all else fails, ask to meet the seller directly on neutral ground, i.e., the broker’s office.  Most agents hate this idea, because it undermines their ability and importance, and is in direct contrast to “Real Estate 101”.  It works!

10. If the negotiations stall, wait a few days, and ask again. And remember, 5-6 thousand dollars sounds like alot, but amortized over a 30 year loan, it’s only $35 monthly. I bet you waste more than that on ______________.


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