Home Buying: 5 Negotiating Tactics that Can Destroy The Sale

Sean Faulk is a licensed Florida real estate agent, and co-owner of Moving to Orlando. If you have questions about the home buying process, you can reach out to Sean through our contact form.

Since the dawn of time, people have bartered. Some people have a knack for it and some people….don’t. When buying a house you want the best deal you can get, but you also want to be fair to all parties involved. As your Realtor®, I can offer my advice, but the final decision falls to you. You’ve toured the home – you love it, and you’re ready to put in an offer. Here is a list of 5 negotiating tactics that can potentially do more harm than good when trying to purchase a home.

Coming in too low

Let’s say I purchased the Swarovski crystal, Cinderella Castle that’s always spinning in the window on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom – you know the one. Then someone offers to buy that from me for $10,000…..I’m not very likely to counter offer anything. I will just laugh and say no. I may not get the full asking price, but I will get offered a better deal than this. Seriously, don’t be this person.

Forgetting where you are buying

Forgetting Where You are Buying: Central Florida is a unique market. Many of the homes here aren’t a primary residence for the current owners, compared to other cities in America and you have to take that into account. Many people who can afford to buy a second home, can afford to wait out a strong offer. Sometimes people aren’t that ready to buy, but near Disney, some people aren’t that ready to sell. They may be listing and seeing if they get a full price offer, but if not – they’ll just hold onto it a while longer.

Taking the HoA fees/condo fees out on the seller

When you are looking for a home, I try to let people know before wanting to see a home what the HoA and other fees are. Sometimes websites list the HoA as very low but then it turns out here are other types of fees – like condo fees and you are surprised. You should 100% be told about this by your Realtor because we can usually see those, but the seller gets nothing for the HoA. Trying to knock money off the overall price because of a high HoA or monthly fees puts nothing in the sellers pocket and it isn’t a negotiation tool.

Frivolous nitpicking

Frivolous Nitpicking: You’ve seen the house and you love it! It might not be perfect but you start to mentally prepare to make it into your home. Then, we get an inspection and the inspector comes back with 25 issues – there’s an outlet that doesn’t work or there’s a tear in the window screen. More than likely, 23 out of 25 of these are going to be minor. Is there a hole in the roof? Yes, let’s get that fixed, but sending a list of 25 fixes won’t get you anywhere. You may threaten to walk away and if they were accepting back up offers or they feel like it’s more trouble than it’s worth, they just might let you.

A house is not a home

When we go house hunting, we see walls, floors, bathrooms, pools, and all the potential that the house could be. You see so many homes sometimes that you can’t remember which house is which at the end of the day. To the seller, they see their kids’ first steps, Christmas morning’s, and major life events that happened in their home. What is currently a house to you, is a home to someone else and for many people they have a strong connection to that building. When they list it and agree to sell it, for whatever reason it closes a small chapter of their life and it feels better knowing that this legacy is being passed on to someone who respects that. Obviously, we don’t love every house we see, but through the entire process, be mindful of the home.

Pete Werner

I'm an Orlando local and owner of The DIS (wdwinfo.com), DVCfan.com, DCLfan.com, and host of the DIS Unplugged podcast.

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