Dealing with buyers who 'nibble'

How to handle those who won't stop negotiating

Whether you are buying or selling a home, there are some shrewd negotiators out there who want to extract every last possible dime from your pocketbook. One of their most common strategies is "the nibble."

You completed all negotiations, the buyer has removed all the contingencies, and you’re set to close in just three days. Every detail concerning the move has been handled. Much to your surprise, you receive a call from your agent telling you the buyers thought the washer, dryer and refrigerator were included in the deal.

They’re refusing to close the deal unless you either leave them the appliances or give them a credit for $1,000 to replace the items. While this could be a legitimate misunderstanding, chances are that you have just experienced what is known as "the nibble." A "nibble" is a negotiation ploy where the nibbler attempts to get "just a little bit more" out of the deal.