Negotiating the Real Estate Contract

How to Buy at the Lowest Possible Price!

by Diann E. Tonnesen
Seller Motivation

You must try and determine what is most important to your particular seller. If possible try and find out the answer to why he is selling his home. It may give you some insight as to what he is or is not willing to take or where he is willing to make a trade off. Although this may sound obvious, sometimes the reason "why" may not lead to the sales price you would expect.

  • Is it a divorce sale?

    Statistics show that while you may get lucky with the "just want out of it" seller, far more often one party or the other may not want to sell at all and may hold out for a higher sales price than the market may indicate. Even if you get a good price, arguments between the sellers could make more problems later than it was worth.

  • Is it a foreclosure sale?

    These properties tend to be over-mortgaged in the first place, and unless you can get the underlying lender to agree to a "short sale" the seller may owe more than the property is worth. Short sales can be worthwhile, but are not a "sure" thing and may take much longer to close.

  • Is it a job transfer?

    If the seller has a wonderful job offer in another state he may indeed be willing to settle for less for a "quick" closing so that he can move on and not have to worry about making double payments. If it is a corporate relocation, the relocation company has probably offered the seller a set amount for his home (typically less than market) with a bonus to the seller if he can sell it himself first.

  • Is the seller buying another home?

    This can be good or bad. Some sellers need to realize every cent out of a transaction to be able to purchase their new home, otherwise they just cannot afford to sell at all. Others are able to sacrifice part of their profit so that they don�t lose their dream home, especially if you are willing to be negotiable about moving dates. Some may actually prefer a longer escrow so that they don�t have to hassle with the expense or aggravation of moving twice.

  • Is there an illness?

    Often the seller in this situation may have more of a sense of urgency and may be willing to settle for less for a quick sale.

  • Is the seller getting married?

    Sometimes the euphoria of a new life can also lead to a better deal for the buyer!

  • Is the seller retiring?

    Many times retirees feel that they must realize the maximum the profits from their existing home as they will no longer be earning a salaried income.

Other major factors in a seller�s willingness to bargain may be the length of time the house has been on the market, a death in a family, job instability, homesickness, etc. Once you have determined the seller�s probable motivation then it is time to position yourself so that you can give the seller most of what he wants so that you can get what you want - the lowest possible price!

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