Thoughts on Negotiation
Recently some clients received a request for repairs. Some of the items in the request appeared to be upgrades to a higher level of condition than the owners currently enjoyed. Typically, it is not the obligation of sellers to upgrade the home. Generally it is expected that sellers will repair any items that are not functioning as designed when they were initially installed. For example, if there is no insulation in the attic, sellers are not expected to install it. That would be an upgrade.
However, these particular clients were astute and recognized that there were still hurdles to be overcome down the road with their buyers. Importantly, there was the bank appraisal still pending. Should the home not appraise for the sale value, the parties would again enter into a negotiation to resolve the discrepancy. The sellers rightly felt that they could build goodwill by agreeing to a few thousand dollars more in the repair request (which was not a material amount to them) in the hope that this would improve their position should they need to negotiate a new price after the appraisal.
The lesson here is that buyers and sellers develop a relationship during the sale process. If both parties attempt to make this relationship positive, the outcome is generally more favorable for both the buyers and the sellers. The more often you can say yes to minor requests, the better your odds of getting what you want in the case of a major request.
The purchase of a home is really multiple transactions within one larger transaction. Recognizing the ongoing nature of this relationship is extremely helpful in ensuring a positive outcome for everyone. Good karma.