Last year, multiple offers were common. Consequently, it took no time at all to negotiate a sale. In most cases, buyers had only one shot at getting the price right. The winning contracts were negotiated quickly with little, if any, bickering over price and terms. If you missed the mark, you rationalized that it wasn't meant to be and searched for another opportunity. Multiple offers have declined. Instead, multiple counteroffers are becoming the norm. Negotiation is back in vogue. Buyers are on more equal footing with sellers than they've been for years. Some of today's home-sale transactions require several rounds of counteroffers to reach a mutually agreeable purchase contract. Also, there's no guarantee that if you start negotiating that a deal will be made. Buyers are more willing to walk away from the bargaining table than they were a year ago. When multiple offers were common, negotiations were usually done when the contract was ratified. A ratified contract is one where both b...
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