It doesn’t matter what side of the transaction you’re on, sooner or later the question, “What can we ask for,” is going to come up. It’s the nature of the game, human nature even, to question, to negotiate or renegotiate as a real estate transaction evolves from initial offer to a closed sale.
Buyers and sellers of real estate frequently ask the same question just from different perspectives; “Can we ask for that?” and “Can they really ask for that?”
The short answer is that you can ask for anything and anything can be asked of you. By Jove, you can even ask for a vintage G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu Grip action figure to be delivered to the closing while you’re signing the settlement papers if that’s what you really, really want. You might actually get it if the market can bear it. What the market can bear is the gray area the consumers are trying to feel their way through.
What a buyer or seller can ask for is more or less commensurate with the volatility or stability of the real estate market. Remember back to the bubble years when new real estate would hit the market and collect a couple of offers within a few hours. If a buyer asked for any special concessions they would have been kindly been left to go pound salt.
Locally, we’ve been absorbing a lot of excess real estate inventory and what the market will bear has been quietly shifting. The list prices that the real estate market will bear are changing and so are the demands that both sellers and buyers request during negotiation or attempt to renegotiate after the fact.
Not long ago a buyer was visually inspecting a property which had been purchased sight unseen. The buyer decided that road noise was far louder than he had imagined it would be. The buyer felt that the noise was so disruptive, in fact, that the only way he could see moving forward with the purchase was if the sellers included all of their magical, sound deadening furniture in the sale.
Now, a few years ago it might have tilted in the buyers favor to pull a last minute run on chattel but we’ve turned a point in that particular community and price point where there wasn’t a list of standing real estate like there was a few years ago. As a matter of fact, there were even a few prospective buyers waiting to see if this particular sale stayed together.
Years ago a seller may have simply conceded to ensure the sale because offers were few and far between. The market has now recovered enough that it would not jeopardize the property closing if the seller held the course. This little game of chicken ended with the buyer proceeding to close and the sellers moved their furniture to their new home.
Most commonly, renegotiating the original purchase price and value adjustments for major inspection repairs can pop up as a transaction evolves. A real estate transaction, after all, can be a low appraisal or inspection discovery away from a significant value or price change in the home. It’s the market that will determine whether a buyer can successfully ask for and be awarded concessions or whether the seller will accept or deny them.
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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.