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Understanding buyer negotiation tactics

December 12, 2011


When selling a home, it is helpful to understand the thought processes of the prospective buyer in order to reach an acceptable agreement. While some buyers may be inexperienced and not all are savvy negotiators, others may have practice. 
 
Sellers should expect all buyers to be working toward a deal that will be 
beneficial for them.

Real estate agents can help home sellers stay objective and maintain their awareness and understanding of the situation during negotiations, but it will likely be easier for home sellers to prepare themselves. In negotiating a home sale, sellers may get caught up in the immediate offer and lose sight of the big picture that defines the process as a whole, and fail to realize buyers are steering the deal in a certain direction.

Pressure over time

Whether they arrive at it through negotiating experience or luck, one tactic buyers might employ is a method of continuous negotiation. Expert Robert Bruss noted some buyers will try to wear sellers down and squeeze out additional concessions after a sales contract is signed. This can be an effective strategy, since people are frequently reluctant to walk away from a deal once they have committed to it and may make concessions they would not otherwise.

For example, a home buyer might ask to re-inspect the house and use that opportunity to search for a flaw that will justify asking for a lower price or other compensation. Alternatively, they might take advantage of a common contract provision that allows the buyer to call off the deal if they do not approve of a professional home inspector's report.

Buyers in this situation might seize on any discrepancy or potential problem as a lever to convince the seller to effect repairs or give them a credit to defray the cost of doing it themselves.

Reading the home buyer

Buyers can be difficult to gauge, but understanding their attitude may make negotiations significantly easier. If someone develops a strong desire for a home, sellers may be able to hold out for better terms, whereas a less invested individual might be more set on a good deal than living in the home in question.USA Today notes focusing too much on the home negotiations can cause participants to get sidetracked and place importance in beating the other party. This can derail negotiations and be unsatisfying for everyone involved, so home sellers should keep their perspective and remember they are working towards a deal acceptable to both sides, not a one-sided victory.
 

About Coldwell Banker®

Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate. Coldwell Banker is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of approximately 83,000 sales agents working in approximately 3,100 offices in 50 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by being the first national real estate brand to create an iPad application and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSM YouTube channel. The Coldwell Banker system is a leader in specialty markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.
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