Final in a series: negotiation tips for buyers

Today we conclude our series on that favorite topic in real estate, negotiation. First off, let’s talk about setting the stage for negotiating the best sale price, from pricing to preparing and marketing. Keep in mind that you can find Paragon’s set of tips in full on our website.

A few things to remember when negotiating sale price:

· Most buyers and buyers’ agents will not make offers on overpriced listings. The cutoff here seems to be no more than 5 percent over market value – or what they’re willing to pay. Price properly from the beginning.

· Properly prepare the house for showing. Don’t half-step it.

· Make sure the property is comprehensively marketed. Off-MLS (“pocket”) listings often miss the would-be buyer.

· Disclosures are essential. Not only are you legally obligated to do so in California, but you run the risk of buyer lawsuits if you don’t disclose fully and correctly.

Now let’s look at a few negotiating tips for buyers:

· If you find a property you want to buy, make the offer you want to make. You don’t know the reaction until you try.

· Older or expired listings can be gold. They give you a stronger negotiating position.

· Use comparative market analysis data to make a strong case for your offer. Back it up.

· Make a positive impression on both seller and listing agent. They will often lean toward those who they like.

· If in doubt, write two or more offers. If there’s no competition, present the lower; if there is, consider the higher.

· Try to present your offer last. The previous offers may be instructive.

· Make sure your offer allows for through investigation and inspection. Do your due diligence.

· If you lose in a multipleoffer situation, ask to put your offer in back-up position. A fair number of deals fall through.

· Use your own agent rather than working with the listing agent. Protect your interests.

· Know when to walk away. Sometimes even the most appealing property won’t work out. Don’t force it.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email

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