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Negotiation tips when buying or selling a house

March 10 2017 by Multi-Prêts Hypothèques
What you'll learn
  • Setting a game plan
  • What a realtor can bring to the table
  • Factors to consider when negotiating 

In this article, we’ll examine the oft-abstract art of negotiation in a real estate environment. 

We can’t all be professional buyers and sellers. That’s why it can be useful to keep these tips and strategies in mind. 

If you’re a first-time buyer, you should also take a look at our blog posts on the subject.  

Time

Time is a factor that can have a huge impact on the leverage you have when negotiating. 

A seller who puts their house on the market with a tight timeline will most likely not get as good a price as one who has all the time in the world. The same goes for buyers. 

Avoid placing yourself in a position where time is of the essence. If that is the case, keep quiet about it to avoid your counterpart taking advantage of the situation. 

Emotions

When negotiating, your emotions can betray you. This is one of the areas where a realtor can come in handy, by removing emotions from the equation. 

It is important that you trust your realtor and ensure they fully understand your needs and constraints. Their sole mission should be to represent and defend your interests. If a realtor encourages you to sell below your asking price far more quickly than you wish, they may not be listening to what you have to say. 

Setting your needs and your deal breakers 

Obviously, you’ll want to set a price range that you’re comfortable with, whether you’re buying or selling. Expert advice can help you set realistic expectations.

When you first start shopping, set a list of the things that matter most to you and try to always keep this list in mind throughout the process. 

For example, if you had initially established that a backyard was unnecessary, but that it was imperative that you be near your workplace, don’t allow a luxurious patio to pull you away from your office. You’ll inevitably have to show a little flexibility, but you’re always better off following guidelines based on your actual needs. 

Deal breakers are things that you simply can’t live with. Make a list of things that are unacceptable for you. By setting firm guidelines, you’ll avoid lowering your standards only to regret it later. Know that the person who can walk away from the negotiating table most easily is usually the one who winds up with the upper hand.  

Always have a Plan B

Even if you find a property that has everything you’ve ever dreamed of, keep your eyes open for other opportunities. If you don’t have any other options in your sights, make sure you don’t disclose this to the seller. 

In a fit of exuberance, some will speak too much and tip their hand. By doing so, you’re giving up any chance the seller might comply to your requests. 

Are you asking the owner to leave behind the drapes and fixtures you fell in love with during your visit? If he’s sharp and realizes how badly you want to buy the house, a keen seller will charge you extra for them. On the other hand, a seller who is desperate to sell to you may include them with the property. 

In similar fashion, don’t be too concerned with someone who is dealing with you and claims to have a plan B. If they are taking the time to negotiate with you, chances are their other options aren’t as solid as they claim. 

Negotiating your mortgage

When it comes to your mortgage, a Multi-Prêts advisor is your best ally. Get in touch with one of our experts by filling out our simplified request form.

Key takeaways
  • The more time you have, the better your odds. A sense of urgency will often force buyers or sellers to accept offers below their expectations. 
  • Define your priorities clearly. 
  • Try to always have more than one option. The more choices you have, the more comfortable you’ll feel setting out the negotiation terms and establishing your requirements. 
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