Don’t Lose Money On The Sale of Your Home!

Lack of Negotiation Costs Seller at Least $15,000

I sold a home in November that was in a pretty nice little gated community in Roseville.  Large home roughly 3000 square feet built around 1991, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms with a golf course lot and the transaction went pretty well with one BIG surprise.

Due to a lack of negotiation by the seller’s agent, the buyers and I were able to get a $30,000 price reduction in on the purchase of their new home.  I was a bit shocked but we did it!  The reason?  The seller’s agent failed to ask me just one simple question.

Pest Work!Insight

We got an agreement at $545,000 and start to do inspections.  The pest inspection comes back with roughly $20,000 in pest work to be done.  That’s a lot of pest work.  Problem was that the siding was T-111 manufactured wood siding that had not been maintained over the years.  It’s prone to dry rot damage and there was a lot of it. 

Additionally, there was a deck off the master bedroom that had damage and the only way to correct that was to replace it.  While the damage to the deck was localized, it was in a spot that couldn’t be spot corrected.  The inspector felt the only possible solution was to replace it so that’s how he wrote up the report.

That much pest damage was a red flag as to what else were we going to find but we pressed on.

Need a good agent to help safeguard YOUR interests when selling your home?  Read on for how I helped this buyer!

The Home Inspection

home inspection reportWe had a home inspection and that came in a bit better BUT revealed a major deficiency under the sub floor.  Water had intruded and seeped down in between the brick façade and the wood structure and rotted some of it away.  Additionally, there was a wood retaining wall in the backyard that was all but falling down and looked like someone had tried to prop it up with Elmer’s school glue.

At this point, I’m surprised my buyers didn’t just pack it up and call it a day because the repair bill was mounting and although they could do it, why would you do it?  Honestly I would have considered just looking for another home.  But they loved the community and justly so.  It’s a special location in the older section of Roseville so they stayed in the deal.

The Negotiate? What’s That??

When a buyer and seller reach an agreement on a residential home, the buyer has a specified time frame to do all of the inspections and discovery about the home that they care to do.  During this time frame, the buyer can back out for any reason at all.  You name it, make it up even, and the buyer can back out. But my client hung in there.

After the home inspection came back, we discussed the strategy.  How should we approach it?  We all agreed that the best course of action was to ask for the moon and see what happened.  We knew the seller wanted to sell and of course we knew the buyer wanted to buy but not without a concession for the obvious damage that existed.  We asked for $30,000 in the form of a credit back.

I honestly thought, “this is never going to fly” but you don’t know if you don’t try.  The agent calls me, hems and haws about this and that to which I just basically kept quiet aside from an occasional “uh huh”.  Then after about 5 minutes of this he says “the seller has agreed to lower the purchase price to $515,000”.  Had I been wearing a toupee it would have fallen off into my soup at that moment.

The seller agreed to lower the price by $30,000.  In all of the homes I’ve sold through the years, I’ve never, ever had a credit back or price reduction that large.  bring back the dunce cap

And The Bad Part?

Not once did the agent say “Hey Rob, you and I both know that a $30,000 credit back is a bit much. What’s it going to take for your client to move forward and close the sale?”  to test the water and see what my reaction was.  NOT ONCE!  He didn’t try to negotiate with me AT ALL at any point during our conversation nor did he submit a counter offer from his seller.  The buyers had a number in mind that they would’ve taken and didn’t really think that they would get the full $30,000.

It can be said that “Maybe the seller had plenty of money and he just wanted to be done with it” and I would agree with that.  Everyone is different.  That said, one of the jobs of an experienced Realtor is to, sometimes, save the client from themselves and that didn’t happen.  While nothing is as it appears to be on the surface, I would’ve at least tried to whittle down the $30,000 a little somehow.

The Lesson

When I was a new agent, my then broker said to me “Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.  Let them think they know what you’re thinking and they’ll tell you everything you’ll need to know”.  This is one of the marquis negotiating tips all salespeople need to know.  That one tip help my client add much more to the price reduction than they would have otherwise gotten.

Selling a home is stressful.  This home in particular had been on and off the market for 6 months.  My sense is they just wanted to be done with it and so did their agent.  Good for us.

Looking to buy or sell a home in Lincoln, Roseville or Rocklin?  Give me a call, I can help you make or save the most money possible.  916-532-7653 call or text!