Negotiating Tactics that can KILL your sale
Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:
Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer. Not sure if its' too low? Ask your agent. They can pull a CMA (comparative market analysis) to see what homes of that type in that neighborhood go for. Then, LISTEN TO THEM!
Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities. Real estate transactions are not flea markets. This is not the time to play games.
“Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it. That being said, after initial negotiations are on the table, and if you have reached a stalemate or are competing with other offers for the same property, your realtor might recommend you but forth a "highest and best" offer. In a sense, a take it or leave it, but this is typically done after some negotiations have already taken place.
Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate. For example, choosing to walkaway from a home (especially after viewing say eighty-seven homes) because they are missing 5 ft of quarter round trim around the kitchen cabinets, is silly. That $5 fix just cost you your dream home because you chose to "die on that hill". Don't put yourself (or your agent) through that.
Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy. I know you are trying to get the best deal possible, but you have to keep in mind there is another human on the other end of this transaction also looking for a fair and civil deal. This isn't the time to "take them to the cleaners". (who wronged you??? lol).