Monthly Archives: June 2017

Negotiation Tips: How to Deal with a Difficult Home Seller


woman dressed in white shirt screaming while looking at phone because home owner won't negotiateThey won’t negotiate. They don’t respond to your offers. They won’t accept your offer with any contingencies. Dealing with a challenging home seller can be difficult, especially when you’re in love with the property and the home seller keeps putting up road blocks to your home sale.

We’ve been part of a home negotiation or two (or three or hundred or a few thousand or…) and we’ve put together some tips to get through a home buying negotiation with a property AND your sanity.

Know your math

Before you put in an offer—and even after—do your math with your lender. Find out the difference between the monthly payment amounts between a $150,000 and $155,000 price tag, or between $200,000 and $225,000—whatever your budgeted amount—so you know how high you can go with your offer. It’s also helpful when you and the seller are a few thousand apart; that math can give you all the information you need to decide whether you can accept the offer or make a counter offer.

Don’t stretch yourself too thin (contingency-wise)

As much as you want that property, be careful about making an offer without a contingency. For example, if you make an offer contingent on the sale of your home but the seller doesn’t want to accept with the contingency, make sure you can afford to pay two mortgages before you accept.

Be creative

If price is the key point of disagreement, find other ways to get the most for your money. Ask the home seller to include other items of value to the deal (your real estate agent can assist with this), such as furnishings, pool equipment, or lawn maintenance equipment. Remember, most home sellers are focused on the bottom line, making them more open to a creative deal.

Make sure you’re not the problem

We all want a deal, but you can’t always expect to get a home for nothing. Be realistic about your price (find out what factors play a part in determining a fair price for the home you’re buying) and realize that the price may not be negotiable. If you can’t settle on the price you were hoping for, ask your real estate agent for other ways to come to a compromise (i.e. asking them to play closing costs, etc.)

Be prepared to walk away

Whenever you make an offer on a property, you have to be prepared for the chance that you may need to walk away from the deal. If the home seller won’t bend, and the sales price is beyond your means, it’s time to ask your real estate agent to look at more homes. The right home is out there with the right home owner who wants to sell.

All Your Home Selling Questions Answered


Home sold with high resale because of home improvement projectsIf you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s normal to be overwhelmed.  The stakes are high; you want to get through the process quickly with the best final selling price. This is likely one of the most expensive transactions you’ll go through, and it’s common to have lots of questions (we hear it from our clients regularly). If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers (and emails to answer any other questions you may have).

What factors play into a home selling price?

Deciding upon a fair home selling price is not an exact science, because there are five factors that contribute to the asking price:

  • Location. In the case of your home’s value, the neighborhood, proximity, and sense of community all are part of determining the asking price of your home.
  • Condition. Both the interior and exterior condition of the home are part of determining the asking price; a home in excellent condition is usually worth more than a fixer upper (if they are both the same square footage).
  • Square footage. This factor is not just confined to your home. The size of your home and lot are both part of the selling price equation.
  • Improvements. Any recent home projects can increase the value of your home, such as an updated kitchen or bathroom. This applies within reason; talk to a real estate agent to make sure you don’t spend more on your project than you can recoup when you sell your home.
  • Market. This is where the state of the market can make a real impact on your asking price (and the final selling price)—and where it’s important to hire an experienced local real estate agent who knows your local market. An experienced local realtor can give you a list of comparable sales in your area, and use those recent sales (and other asking price factors) to recommend a fair price).

How much can I sell my home for?

Unfortunately, you can’t base your selling price on the amount you paid for the home or the amount listed on your property tax bill.  If you want to find out the final selling price, contact a local real estate agent for a free evaluation of your home.  The real estate agent can also give you tips that help prepare your home for the real estate market.

What do I need to do to get my house ready for sale?

What a seller does to prepare for the real estate market and showings is up to them. To make the property appear well-maintained, use this checklist to ensure the property has excellent curb appeal so potential buyers want to come in and see the home. On the inside, the home should be deep cleaned and treated for pests to keep potential buyers from running out the door (and not making an offer). A real estate agent should be able to give you other tips to prepare your home for sale.

What is a pre-listing inspection?

A seller can choose to have their home inspected before they put their home on the market to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.  A home inspector does a thorough going over of the property, and look for red flags that a buyer’s home inspector may find (and could lower the final selling price). If the home inspector does find any issues, the seller can choose the contractor (and the price) that resolves any issues. Finding and resolving issues before the home is on the market also can expedite the selling process later without any delays for repairs.

What is a condition report?

There are quite a few documents that need to be filled out in Wisconsin when you decide to put your home on the real estate market; one of those is a Condition Report.  A Condition Report is required in Wisconsin and needs to be filled out by the seller—NOT the agent.

The Condition Report details any issues that could affect the value of your property, such as unsafe well water, roof defects, or electrical issues. Even if the issue was resolved, it still needs to be listed on the Report—and what was done to resolve the issue.  For example, if the basement flooded, the problem needs to be listed EVEN if all the damage was repaired.  List the problem, the cause of the problem, any damage that was done, and all repairs that were done during the clean-up (especially what was done to ensure that the flooding never happens again). If the property does not have a defect in one of the categories listed on the form, and has never suffered damage from the defect, the seller can indicate that the property is clear in that area.