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How to Negotiate with Difficult Sellers

Before you submit an offer to buy a home, you don’t know how the seller is going to respond. Some sellers are challenging – they don’t want complications or compromises. They can demand all-cash offers, no inspections and for you to pay over list price. The only thing you can do is make it hard for the seller to be difficult.


Ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional to contact the seller’s agent to find out what the seller wants as far as terms, if they’re open to doing any repairs and if other offers are on the table. The seller will appreciate knowing you’re trying to craft a reasonable offer.


Consider the seller’s feelings and don’t be critical of their home. Keep your intentions to remodel or tear the house down quiet. Low-balling a seller will only make them angry, so make your offer fair.  Include a copy of your lender’s pre-approval letter, along with a cover letter summarizing your strengths as a buyer and why you love this home. You can also include a copy of the comparable market analysis you used to illustrate how you arrived at the offer price.


If you ask the seller to extend the closing date or accommodate another contingency, be prepared to make a concession, such as a higher offer price or waiver on repairs. The more your offer matches up with the seller’s needs in terms of price, move-out dates and closing, the more likely your offer will be graciously accepted.
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