Hints in the fine art of negotiating

On in Buying by

1. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes

Do this for virtually every aspect of your offer. Your goal is to get the house you want. Imagining how the seller will react to each part of your offer will help you attain that goal.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Successful negotiations require each participant to give and take. Determine which aspect of the offer is most important to you and give on the others, i.e. you will accommodate a seller’s requested possession date if they are flexible on the price.

3. You may even have to compromise on the big stuff

Keep focusing on your goal. You may have to ultimately pay more than you want to get the house. A few thousand dollars over the length of time you will be in the house may in reality be a small compromise. Don’t spend more than you can but it may take more than you want to get the house.

4. Use your salesperson as a buffer

It’s easier for agents to be objective because they are not emotionally involved and operate at arm’s length.

5. Don’t low ball

The lower the offer, the higher the sign back. An offer close to the lowest amount a Seller will consider accepting is very tempting for them. Ridiculously low offers sour sales.

EXCEPTION Go ahead and submit a low ball offer on a property that is way overpriced. Just be prepared to back up your figures.

6. Find out why they’re selling

The more are aware you are of the Seller’s motivation the stronger your negotiating position.

7. When is the best time to submit your offer?

The very moment you decide it’s the right house for you. The fine art of negotiating your offer won’t matter at all if it sells to someone else.

8. Is a short irrevocable period a good strategy?

Generally speaking, yes! It is a truth that good Toronto properties can sometimes sit languishing on the market for considerable lengths of time with no offers. Then one offer gets registered and the whole world wants it! It is reasonable to ask a Toronto Seller to immediately consider your offer. This also minimizes the amount of time a listing agent can spend shaking the bushes looking for another offer.
WARNING Too short an irrevocable period makes some Sellers feel undue pressure and can backfire.

9. (A) Get Informed, (B) Get Prepared, (C) Be Realistic

A. Determine fair value by analysis of comparables.
B. Be prepared to walk away rather than let your emotions rule over good judgment and sound reason.
C. Make your offer fair. It is very hard for your salesperson to do the best job they can selling your offer to a Seller if they feel you are being totally unrealistic. Give them the ‘equipment’ they need to get the job done.

10. Listen to your experienced agent

It takes a long time for agents to hone their negotiating skills. The negotiations for each deal are particular to that specific transaction and strategies differ too. Ask your salesperson for their recommendations and justifications for their proposed strategies. If it all makes sense to you, go for it.

11. Make sure the seller puts their response in writing

Oral promises, acceptances, sign backs, or commitments in regard to the sale of real estate in the Province of Ontario are not recognized by law. They must be in writing. If the seller verbally commits to a position or acceptance of your offer your salesperson must get that position in writing. It is not binding until it is.

12.How long has it been on the market?

The shorter the listing time the tougher it is to negotiate. A brand new hot listing hits the market and it’s perfect for you? The fine art of negotiating is simple, pay the price to make it yours.


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