I have been doing this for a long time. And over the years I have had the privilege of watching many buyers purchase houses that quickly turned into homes once the closing was over. It’s the greatest feeling ever. I mean, how many times in a lifetime does the average person or family get to move their life into a whole new space? Using census data, that number is 11.7 times in an average lifetime. For some of us, it will be more. Others, not so much. So here is some simple, yet poignant advice on three things to always remember when making one of those 11 moves!
Here’s a secret that listing agents know to be true. If the buyer is measuring for carpet, then they know they have you. In this competitive seller’s market, we’ve all learned not to let our excitement get ahead of the phone call from our agent that our offer was indeed accepted! Our advice to the buyers out there? Don’t place your furniture until you know the house will be yours. Remember, there are numerous contingencies in the contract written especially for you. The inspections, the loan contingency, the title and survey section of the contract, and the municipal inspections. If something goes wrong with one of these, and you and your agent have some negotiating to do, then you are in a considerably better mental place to do that if you don’t feel like you could lose the “house of your dreams.” KEEP IT TRANSACTIONAL until all of the contingencies are resolved. Fall in love with the house after you have made it through the quicksand traps that could appear along the course of the contract timeline. Would you buy the dress or order the tux for the prom before you’ve asked your date or bought your ticket? Then don’t let your kids choose their bedrooms until you know that house is going to be your home!
Real estate transactions are like an elaborate game of chicken. Someone has to blink first, and rarely do the buyer and seller blink at the same time. And in this crazy seller’s market, it appears that one of the parties holds all the best cards. That’s a fact. But we’ve been in this business long enough to know that just like the sun sets in the west, things will change and the pendulum will swing back in favor of a more balanced market. In 2021 we watched the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team team win their first goal medal in 117 years by outscoring their opponent in tie-breaker shots. The process during transaction negotiations where buyer and seller counter each other back and forth is just like that. One of three things will happen in the deal. You will wear down your opponent, you will outmaneuver them, or they will do one of those to you. So this is no time for emotion. Keep your head in the game and be strategic. And like a world-class soccer player, don’t forecast what angle toward the net your next shot will take. Remember, anger, emotion, and fear is an amateur’s game. The last thing I will say about this? Keep your eye on your goal. In other words, have a very clear view of what success looks like, and then take your best shot accordingly!
If you keep reminding yourself of this truth, then everything in the deal becomes more manageable, and can even be fun! It is the Buyer’s job to buy the house they want for the least amount of money and in this market, without giving up the farm. In contrast, it is the seller’s job to sell the house for the most amount of money with as little inconvenience as possible. It’s as simple as that! If you remember this from the getgo, then the negotiation becomes so much easier and reduces your risk for undue stress. When the seller you to come in at least 10% over their asking price to be even be considered, remind yourself, “He’s just doing his job.” You won’t be insulted, you remain objective, and like a world-class soccer player, you stay laser focussed on your goal. Remember what we discussed here, Mr. and Mrs. seller are trying to walk away with the most money for their house, and right now in this selling climate, their hand is just better than yours. Now, do your job. Respond strategically, and following the advice of your agent, do your best to outmaneuver them and pay as little as you can. I said as little as you can… not as little as you want. That’s why they call this a negotiation and not a hostile takeover. Both of you want the same goal - for that house to change hands - from theirs to yours. Just make sure you’re doing your job!
Well, that’s my advice for now. Next time, three tips for every seller. Stay tuned!
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