The forest for the trees
It’s a saying we’ve all heard and with just cause, “Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees”. I think the reason we’ve kept this expression in our vernacular so long is we never seem to quite learn the lesson it preaches; don’t obsess over details so much as to forsake your original goal. I count myself fortunate to work with buyers and sellers who understand the principle behind this saying well and who apply it, but it’s worth mentioning as the process of buying and selling real property can become emotional and sometimes obscure the best judgment of even those with the most rational of minds.
When talking home ownership a consumer is either buying or selling and in order to get to the closing table they’ve got to structure their offer in such a way as to have a meeting of the minds for both parties involved. Lets tackle the buying side first.
Buyers: Think big picture when presenting your offer to the seller.
First of all, lets talk about the phrase “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be”. I actually do see the value in this as far as not forcing things too much and being comfortable with the outcome from an objective point of view. As a buyer it’s possible to be both unbiased and committed to putting your best foot forward at the same time. Having a Zen mindset and writing a viable contract that a seller will consider are not mutually exclusive. It’s a wonderful thing to negotiate a fabulous deal for yourself and definitely a great feeling when you do. The idea is however don’t obsess over asking for reductions in price, closing costs and to keep the dining room table when it would be fair to simply request a price reduction. Fixating on getting the best price plus closing costs plus anything else you can see in the house may backfire on buyers especially in this market. Think also of what you need. Do you need closing costs? If there are other offers in play you may want to request that concession and bump up your offer price the same amount. Also keep in mind the type of financing you are utilizing. If you are not placing a large amount of money down then it may be wise to keep your concession requests to a minimum as to avoid giving the seller the impression that you are possibly not financially stable. If it cant be helped than it can’t, but don’t lose out to a competing offer with 20 percent down because you asked for reductions and concessions below the area sales for the fun of it.
Sellers: Aim for your best bottom line and paint a pretty picture for would-be buyers.
Staying detached when selling a home, especially a family home where you made great memories or raised a family can be tough. Remember; it’s all about the Benjamins, baby. Make the purchase a no brainer for the buyer by simplifying your situation. Leave whatever light fixtures and window coverings you can. Unless you bought that Chandelier in Venice and it’s hard to replace, let it stay in the home if the buyers bring you a really great offer. Another helpful thing to do when selling is to create a file with all the local service providers, warranties and agreements you have in regards to the home and share it upfront. You’ve taken care of your home by maintaining a termite bond and having a service agreement with an A/C company, share that info along with any helpful hints you can provide like the best most cost effective house cleaners in the area and so forth. Help them envision themselves living in your home and show them the evidence of care as well as the network of providers in the area. This helps ease the minds of purchasers when moving into a new place, especially when relocating to a new state or buying a luxury home with distinctive features that need loving care. Be open to things like assisting buyers with their closing costs if the overall profit for yourself is great. I’ve heard of sellers not wanting to give a buyer closing cost assistance on principal but offer to lower the price instead. Don’t worry about which way it gets to the buyers, a reduction is a reduction and as long as your net proceeds are acceptable you can walk away happy and the buyers can too. Focus on the final results and everyone walks away a winner.
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