Tips and Traps When Negotiating Real Estate: What If the Agent Throws Up a Roadblock?

Negotiating without an Agent: What If the Agent Throws Up a Roadblock?

If you’re a buyer, your agent may say that you can’t present the offer directly to the seller and that the seller has specified that he or she wants to deal only with a broker. (The seller’s agent may make the same appeal with regard to presenting a counteroffer to the buyer.) That’s usually a lot of hooey. Most times the seller/buyer doesn’t care who presents the offer. The agent’s just trying to protect the deal (making the assumption that you’ll blow it) or afraid of some­ how losing a commission. (If the seller is tied up in the commonly used “right to sell” listing, it doesn’t matter who presents the offer— the commission is still due the agent.) If you demand to present the offer, I don’t see how an agent can stop you. If the other party has indeed requested that only an agent present the deal, then you can agree to have the other party’s agent present (sort of as protection). If the seller absolutely refuses to see you, you can make this offer, “I will buy your house. But you must deal with me directly.” Put up a big earnest money deposit along with a signed contract and, except in a hot market, I can’t imagine a seller not talking directly to you. In a hot market, sellers have so many buy­ers making offers they can stand back and pick and choose.

Never Believe Anyone Else Is Entirely on Your Side

Trust in yourself. You’re the only person in the world who has your own interests totally at heart. This applies not only to the other party in the negotiations, but also to your agent.

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