Tips and Traps When Negotiating Real Estate: The New Sale

Negotiating a Successful Deal: The New Sale

Madeline called a week later and said that the Loves, the buyers of Dana and Sondra’s home, had already found their own buyer, a non­ contingent buyer. She was trying to hurry the sale and, hopefully, within a few weeks the Love’s new buyer would have a new mortgage, purchase the home, and then, like dominoes, the other deals would follow along. She told them to get ready to move. In fact, the Wilsons had already moved out. Madeline said she could get per­ mission for them to start putting their things in their new home. She said, ‘You want to be ready to move as soon as all the deals close. This way you can get a head start on moving in.”

Dana asked Madeline if there were any problems with any of the deals that she could foresee. “None,” she replied. “The Loves, buy­ers of your old home, had a preapproval letter, so they should get their financing. And so do the buyers of their home. It should all go quickly, now.”

Dana hung up and shook his head. “Too many things have already gone wrong. If we move our furniture and boxes into the new house and, for some reason, the buyers of our old home don’t go through with the deal, we’ll have to move them back. Better wait and see.”

TRAP

Try not to back yourself into a corner. When negotiat­ing, you never want to be forced to move forward because you’ve lost the opportunity to move back.

Dana and Sondra waited as patiently as they could for news, and three weeks later almost to the day, Madeline called and said that the Loves, the buyers of their house, were ready to sign the papers.

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It would, indeed, work just like dominoes. It would all transpire almost simultaneously; each of the three buyers would sign loan documents. And each of the three sellers would sign their deeds and closing instructions. The money would flow from the buyers’ of the Loves’ home to the Loves. The Loves would transfer the money to Sondra and Dana, buying their home. And Dana and Sondra would then transfer the money to the Wilsons, buying the four acres. In a matter of hours it would all be over.

Sondra and Dana went to their escrow company, signed dozens of papers, and then went home. The Loves, who were buying Sondra and Dana’s existing house, called and asked if they could be out early the next day, since they wanted to move in.

Dana said he was still suspicious. What if things didn’t go as planned? What if they let the Loves move into their old house and they moved into the Wilson place, their new house. If the deals didn’t close, suddenly they’d be renting their new house and they’d have the Loves as tenants in their old one!

So he told the Loves he wouldn’t move until all the escrows had closed and all the deeds had been recorded. The Loves sounded angry.

A few minutes later, Dana and Sondra got a call from Madeline, their agent. She said they had to be out to be sure that the whole thing didn’t fall apart. The Loves were threatening not to sign unless they knew that Dana and Sondra would be out of the house. “You don’t want to lose out on the new house you’re buying by refusing to leave your old home in a timely fashion, do you?” Madeline asked.

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Dana looked at Sondra and she nodded. He told Madeline, “We’re not moving until title is transferred. Until then, this is our house and we’re staying here!”

TIP

It’s important to know when you’re in a strong position . . . and not to budge from it, even when those in weaker positions want you to move.