Negotiating No-Nos

Handling negotiations is one of the main reasons buyers work with professional real estate representatives. Nevertheless, buyers themselves sometimes sabotage the process by making negotiating mistakes like the following:

  • Putting all your eggs in one basket. When you need to buy this home because you have no other options, you’re in a weaker position – a desperate one – at the negotiating table. Having in mind alternatives you’d be just as happy with makes it easier to walk away should things not work out with this particular property. Besides, it never hurts for the sellers to know you have options!
  • Showing your hand. You may be prepared to pay in cash, under a deadline to move, have just received a promotion or just head-over-heels for this home…but such information is best handled by your real estate rep and should go no further than that, lest it be used as leverage against you.
  • Wanting to win. Adopting an adversarial, rather than collaborative, attitude toward the seller is a great way to start your negotiations off on the wrong foot – and keep them there. Likewise, a desire to beat the other buyer(s) in a multiple-offer scenario is a great way to end up paying more for a property than you planned for.
  • Insisting on too many contingencies. An offer with a lot of strings attached is one that’s less appealing to the seller, who won’t likely want to deal with you at all (whether because they don’t want to wait or are worried you end up having to walk away), let alone be willing to extend you much goodwill on other terms like price.