The Ins and Outs of Buying and Selling

By: Damon Chavez

While buying and selling real estate can be exciting, it is also very challenging, and can be stressful at times. Because of the conflict created by both the buyer and seller and trying to get the most out of a real estate deal, negotiations can drag on and closings can be delayed. But a win/win situation is possible.

Open communication is best, although it isn't always the way it happens. A seller wants the buyer to see the best aspects of a home and to overlook its flaws. A buyer wants to get the most for their money, and has their eye acutely trained to pick out flaws, and bring them up during negotiations to reduce the sales cost. But buyer beware. Dragging on negotiations can result in a lost deal, when the seller accepts a hassle-free offer. Some sellers are willing to sell for less if there are no strings attached.

On the other hand, sometimes asking that a few conditions be met before a sale can make the transaction more profitable for both parties. It depends on the resources you have at hand. If a buyer makes a certain repair or improvement a condition of the sale, the seller has a choice. It might be easy for them to make that repair, and so it earns them a sale at a good price just to get that repair out of the way. If the repair is time or money consuming, then offering the home as-is might be a better option. This might mean getting a lower offer for the sale, or even losing that offer, but another offer will come along eventually. If the buyer really wants the property, they will buy it as is and deal with the repair themselves. It all depends on the priorities of both parties.

Sometimes a real estate deal will appear to be going smoothly, and then a spouse's concerns will enter the picture. This is why it is always best to communicate with both spouses at the same time. Sometimes, mostly with buyers, a couple will play the good cop/bad cop routine. This means that one will say they love the place, get the seller feeling that a sale is immanent, and then their spouse will come in with a bunch of concerns that either create conditions or whittle the price down. I recommend that couples be honest from the start, and not try to use this routine to their advantage. As a seller, make sure you get approval, in writing, from both members of a couple before any of the legal proceedings go ahead. The last thing you want to do is meet a condition only to find a new condition waiting in the wings.

Sometimes a seller will stall, refusing to make a decision on an offer. This can be avoided by setting time limits on every part of the negotiation. If a seller is stalling, don't be afraid to withdraw an offer. You may not have to, as threatening to do so may be enough to light a fire under the seller. However, if it's your dream home and you are willing to wait for anything, don't make threats you won't keep. If a seller thinks you aren't serious they may take another offer instead.

These are all reasons why working with a real estate agent can help the process. Agents are familiar with every type of bargaining tactic, and the legalities involved in a real estate sale. They understand the importance of involving both spouses in all aspects of sale negotiations, and will do their best to prevent annoying delays. A successful real estate sale is when both parties gain something. For this, both parties must also sacrifice something, but done right, it's possible for everyone to come out of a real estate sale happy and satisfied.

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