Tips and Traps When Negotiating Real Estate: Finding the Property

Negotiating a Successful Deal: Finding the Property

Sondra and Dana owned a home they had purchased a few years earlier in Sacramento, California. The home was only a couple of years old, but it was small (only three bedrooms) for their expanding fam­ ily. (They had one child, were anticipating a second, and Sondra needed a home office.) Further, their home was in a tract with a small yard and Dana was the sort who liked to “work the ground.” He wanted a bigger tract of land where he could “plant crops” and perhaps have a horse, or even a cow. He wanted a country home rather than a city home.

So they began looking for a new house. And while properties such as the one they wanted were, indeed, available in the area, prices were rising rapidly and Dana felt that his chances of finding one were slim. Nevertheless, for a whole month of weekends, he and Sondra went out looking, being mostly disappointed with what they saw and the prices asked.

Thus, they were both surprised one weekend when an agent showed them a property with four acres of land. The house was not much bigger than the one they currently owned, but it did have an extra bedroom over the garage. It was an old home, but it had been partially remodeled with new air conditioning and an expanded fam­ ily room. It would need work, but they figured they were up to it.

What Dana really liked, and Sondra tolerated, was the expanse of land that came with the home. True, it was flat with only two old oak trees on it and the rest weeds, but Dana saw all sorts of potential. He envisioned a barn where they could have animals, a field where they could grow vegetables. And he fell in love with the 1941 Ford tractor rusting out back, which he imagined he could get running again.

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