Negotiating Secrets & Mantras

For anyone who doesn’t have time to read a book — or ten — on real estate negotiation, l can distill what I’ve learned from a decade-questionplus representing home Sellers (and Buyers!) into two questions, to be asked by would-be Sellers (and their Realtors) at the key juncture(s) of each deal:

1. “What are the odds of getting more from another Buyer if this Buyer goes away?”
2. “If I don’t negotiate an item that the Buyer is requesting, post-inspection, do I have to change my Seller’s Disclosure?”

Inspection Issues

In particular, posing (and answering) question #2 can save A LOT of sturm und drang between Buyers and Sellers, because if the answer is “no,” Sellers typically don’t have to reach an accommodation with Buyers.

However, if the answer is “yes” . . .  they do.

Dealing With the Next Buyer

Or more accurately, the Seller can always say “no” to a legitimate, material issue raised by the Buyer, but if they do that, and the Buyer walks, the Seller then has to change their disclosure — and should expect to see the next Buyer raise the same issue, and insist on the same discount.*

Which is ultimately just another variation of question #1 — namely, “What are the odds of getting more from another Buyer if this Buyer goes away?”

Make that, “THE most important question in every real estate deal.”

*Sellers who don’t disclose a material defect they’re aware of risk getting sued for fraudulent misrepresentation.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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