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5. Negotiate a deal

Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Having an experienced agent well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Knowing what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate are key to a successful outcome.

Some negotiable items:

  • Price
  • Financing
  • Closing costs
  • Repairs
  • Appliances and fixtures
  • Painting
  • Move-in date
  • Earnest money deposit
  • Settlement date

Although price is usually the primary consideration, it is not the only one. In fact, in multiple offer situations, sometimes the highest priced offer is not the winning offer. How can that be? Well, the goal is not just to get the highest offer, but rather to sell the house and net the most money. One offer might have a higher offer price, but the financing might be shaky, the buyer is making unreasonable demands, the buyer might have to sell his house first and that is just for starters. Another offer might be slightly lower, but all cash and no contingencies. Depending on your motivation and risk level, the cash offer might be the better.

‘Bullet Proof’ the transaction

We have a 21 point check list we go through to make sure the contract is 'bullet proof' as best as we can make it and protect your interests. A few things we do include:

  • Provide appraiser with market data and analysis why the price is correct. If it comes in low, we know how to successfully challenge an appraisal. So few agents know or will even attempt to challenge an appraisal.
  • Order condo docs and HOA docs promptly. By law, the seller has to provide an up to date copy of the condo docs to the buyer and the buyer has three days to review them. During that review period, the buyer can cancel the contract for any reason. It is in the seller's best interest to get past the review period as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t let inspections become a reason for the buyer to cancel the contract—find out what is important to the buyer. Some buyers might be just looking for a way to back out of the contract after the home inspection and will make unreasonable demands. Other buyers truly want to buy the home, but feel strongly about certain repair items. We strive to keep the emotions out of the deal and keep it focused on the business aspects of the deal.
  • Contact buyer’s lender and thoroughly vet the buyer’s financing. Not all lenders are alike and we know from experience certain lenders are notorious for being problematic. We strive to be proactive and contact the buyer's lender and get as much information as possible regarding the buyer's ability to purchase the property. 
  • Stay up to date on the constantly changing regional sales contract and multiple addenda used in the region. Virginia, Maryland and DC have similar contracts, but there are important differences to know.