Whether looking to buy or sell a home, learning the other party's true real estate motivation can lead to especially profitable negotiation. There's an old negotiation strategy that says that the first person to name price and terms loses the negotiation. But that's not always true! EXAMPLE: A number of years ago, I wanted to sell my condominium so I could buy the house where I now live. Based on recent sales prices in the condo complex, my listing agent (the late, great Betsy White) suggested a $121,000 asking price. It was two or three thousand dollars above the last sale price of a comparable unit, thus allowing room for negotiation on the price and terms. A week or two later, Betsy obtained a $114,000 purchase offer from a strong buyer. It was all-cash with no contingencies, not even a mortgage finance contingency. She advised me, "I think this buyer will come up a few thousand dollars if you want to make a counteroffer." Knowing I had only paid $70,000 for that condo, I had a nic...
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