Tips and Traps When Negotiating Real Estate: How to Bargain for Personal Property

How to Bargain for Personal Property

Often buyer and seller will negotiate over more than just the house itself. At stake may be a dining room chandelier, a refrigerator or stove, a washer and dryer. Even children’s outdoors swings may be up for grabs. I recently sold a home in which I had put an L-shaped bench into a small kitchen alcove. It fit perfectly and really did make the room attractive. However, it was a piece of furniture and did not go with the house. I properly informed the buyers of that fact.

The buyers, however, could not see themselves living in the home without my table and bench. So they wrote it into the offer. They wanted to buy my house and those items of furniture. They made it a deal point.

Quite frankly, I wasn’t all that concerned about the furniture. It hadn’t cost that much, and I really didn’t know where else I could put it. However, as long as the buyers wanted it, and apparently wanted it badly, I was willing to negotiate. I happened to need extra time to move. So I offered to trade off. They could have the table and bench, but I got to stay an extra 20 days after the deal closed without paying rent. They said fine, which was just great for me since rent for that piece of property for that time would have been several times the cost of a new table and bench!


It’s usually not a good idea from the buyer’s perspec­tive to have a seller remain in the property after the close of escrow. However, there’s nothing illegal or ” unethical about it, and if it’s a deal point, the buyer may accept it.

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