Tips and Traps When Negotiating Real Estate: The Real Explanation

Negotiating a Successful Deal: The Real Explanation

A few days later, Madeline, their agent, called to say she had found the trouble. The Loves, who were buying Sondra and Dana’s house, had a problem. The Loves’ house had not passed a termite inspec­tion. Some work needed to be done, which the Loves had agreed to pay for. But no one had ordered the work done—their agent, who should have been tracking the deal, had dropped the ball. And the Loves couldn’t sell to their buyers because their buyers’ lender wouldn’t fund until a termite clearance was ordered. Hence the Loves couldn’t sell their home, couldn’t buy Sondra and Dana’s home, and Sondra and Dana couldn’t buy the Wilsons’ four acres.

“But, I’ve called in my own termite exterminator company and am having the work done even as we speak,” Madeline said.

Sondra replied, “Surely, you don’t expect us to pay for that?!”

“No,” Madeline said. I will pay for it. And be compensated when the Wilsons’ sale closes. It’ll just be a few more days.”

When she hung up, Sondra asked Dana, “Do you think we should ask for a few thousand dollars in compensation from the Loves, our buyers, because the deal has dragged on so long? After all, we’re still making payments on our old house.”

“True,” Dana answered, “but we’re also still living in it. And while we could ask for compensation, we really don’t want more money . . . we want to buy our new home. Just waiting and hoping may be the best bet right now.”

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TIP

Know what your true goal is. Is it to get compensation for real or imagined damages to you? Or is it to close the deal?