Closing on a House – Negotiations and Agreements

There is no doubt that times can be very exciting when an offer is accepted and a new owner knows they can move forward with the purchase and begin closing on a house. From the seller’s side, many of the barriers to buying the property have been taken care of and now it just comes down to the closing logistics, such as the mortgage and inspections, which are meted out with a few rounds of home negotiation between buyer and seller. But (and it’s a big one), sometimes negotiations between home buyers and sellers is an uphill battle that few can accomplish. It’s not enough just to be strong in an offer and budge little by little as you try to show your pride in the process. Some people just throw out tough statements and act rough as if to let the other side know they are not going to be pushed around. Believe me; this way won’t work well in the long run. If anything, it will just turn the other side off to working with you. Good home negotiation comes with understanding the other side’s key points, prioritizing them, and working on overcoming them. It’s one of the best ways to make sure everyone agrees to the same terms when closing on a house.

During this key home negotiation process, real estate agents can be very beneficial . Not only have they taken classes on how to negotiate and reach amiable terms for both sides, but their experience has allowed them to see what works (and when) and what doesn’t when closing on a house. There is a fine level of finesse in the home negotiation process that requires you to know how to get what you want out of the situation.

The Art of Home Negotiation: Understanding the Other Side

When sending the contract offer, you will need to bring up the points you want to negotiate and allow the other side to bring up their points of interest as well. This will usually happen when some of your terms are not accepted and the seller decides to counter your written offer. It is essential for both sides to understand what is important to each other when a buyer is closing on a house. Balance comes from fully understanding the other side’s key points during any home negotiation session.

Internalizing and digesting this information during a home negotiation session will help you compare and contrast this against your own needs. If there is something you aren’t willing to concede when closing on a house, you can use this information to leverage other terms that the seller will easily grant you.

Prioritization of Key Points in the Process

Once you have an understanding of which points are important to you and the other side as well, you will need to also know how those measure up. How important are they for you to continue closing on a house? You will need to know what will be acceptable or become a “must have” to you so that you can feel comfortable before signing on the dotted line and moving to your new house. Whether you are using a real estate agent or writing the offer yourself, you will need to disclose those requests in the written contract offer so that the previous homeowners can legally receive your proposal with what you are petitioning. Since your needs will be in contract form, you can be sure to cover every term or, at the very least, bring up your points for discussion with the seller. If not named or mentioned in your contract offer, you may forget specific terms you want addressed during the home negotiation session and you may lose out on what you really wanted to accomplish. In most cases, the seller is willing to make a number of concessions when closing on a house, and if you’re prepared, you will be able to make it worthwhile for both sides.

If the seller counters on your offer, prioritizing the other side’s key points helps you so you can use some of your requests and offer to give them up if they are willing to do the same on their side. The purpose of both sides is to agree on the most important points when closing on a house. For example, if the seller is willing to include the kitchen appliances but not fix a bathroom you requested to be fixed in your contract offer, this may or may not appeal to you and should fall appropriately within your prioritization scale. Most importantly, however, keep your eyes on the goal during any effective home negotiation session and keep the communication going!

Overcoming the Obstacles on Either Side

Explain why each term you are asking for is crucial during the negotiation process. This is another reason why I strongly suggest that buyers and sellers use agents. It will be something both sides will be able to use to help prioritize what’s important to each, i.e. what you can or can’t live without. Explaining each side helps with persuasion and plays a big part in home negotiation. Obviously, you’ll also want to avoid damaging the relationship that you have with the seller – and closing on a house is where that fine level of finesse plays a large role. Understanding that this meeting of the minds should be a win-win situation for everyone is vital to your approach and ultimate success for effective home negotiation.

The company that I work for (and other similar companies) can help you with closing on a house as well as the numerous other steps that are involved in the home buying process. Using a real estate agent is highly recommended throughout the entire process of closing on a house as they have access to unlimited resources and are trained in home negotiation and getting the best deal for the buyer.

Overcoming the obstacles is easier when you realize you must turn this part of the home buying process into something that’s profitable not only for you but beneficial to the seller as well. This kind of give-and-take when you’re closing on a house will ensure the seller concedes to a great deal of your requests willingly – and maybe even with a smile.

16 Ways Wedding Presents Are Completely Overrated

There is nothing like a wedding to bring out strong emotions, and for many the matter of the wedding gift list can be the more frustrating things.

As a Couple

1. Getting duplicates of things – nobody really needs two toasters or several identical sets of brandy glasses, and finding space to keep all your gifts can be a thankless task for a couple who have just returned from their honeymoon.

2. You really just want loads of booze and takeaways, but you can’t really ask for that – the things that people actually want are often not really wedding gift material, so trying to come up with a list of things that you want other people to buy you can be tricky.

3. Feeling grabby and worrying about offending people – there is no other occasion where you would present your friends and family with a list of things that you want them to buy you, and compiling a wedding gift list can leave you feeling as though you are being presumptuous and grasping

4. Not wanting a gift list but guests insisting on one – even if you genuinely don’t want anything, there are always some guests who can’t bear the idea of turning up to a wedding empty-handed and simply insist that you produce a list from which they can choose a gift.

5. Not getting what you really want – finding a gift that you and your intended will genuinely enjoy can be a difficult job, especially if you would rather spend a day rock climbing, canoeing or enjoying a spa day than cooking up the kind of feast that requires the use of traditional gifts such as a soup tureen and matching gravy boat.

6. Spending your time dealing with the gift list – if you have a list with a department store which manages the details of who has bought what then you might find that you have to monitor things a lot more closely than you would like, handling exchanges, substitutions and all other queries.

7. Feeling as though your taste is being judged – you might want a set of shot glasses and a cocktail shaker, but what will your great aunt think of such profligacy when she sees your gift list? You might not want everyone to know how you intend to furnish your house and end up compromising to keep things easy.

8. Writing thank-you cards – with great gifts come great responsibility, so no sooner have you retuned from the romantic whirlwind of your honeymoon, you then have to sit down and compose your thank you cards before you can relax and enjoy married life.

Receiving gifts should be a joy, so if you are finding it all a bit stressful then focus on what’s important. You can always as for experiences instead of tangible gifts or consumables such as wine or chocolates so that you won’t have to move house to fit all your gifts in, and you might end up with some really great surprises.

As a wedding guest

1. Additional wedding expense – once you have got your travel and accommodation sorted, you may feel as though you are shelling out as much as the happy couple themselves on attending the wedding. Adding a gift to the bill can make it all seem like an exercise in overspending.

2. Hard to choose something – finding a gift that you can actually imagine the couple enjoying can seem like an impossible task.

3. Not knowing the couple equally well – Wanting to get something special for both members of the couple, even if you only know one of them, can make wedding gift shopping really frustrating. A present which contains an element of choice is perfect, but they are few and far between.

4. Never actually seeing your gift – sometimes gifts from lists don’t even make it to reception as they are delivered directly to the bride and groom after their return from their honeymoon, so you never even see what you have bought which can make it seem very impersonal.

5. Worrying that you are picking your ideal gift – sometimes you see something which you think would be perfect for someone, before realising that actually it’s something you want yourself. Second guessing the couple’s tastes and trying to find something that they would like isn’t easy, especially if they haven’t provided a gift list.

6. Losing all sense of perspective – after browsing the internet or trudging round the shops, it can seem as though there is no wedding gift out there for the happy couple and that you have no idea what they like at all. Your stress levels rise and you begin to question everything you thought you knew about gift giving and personal taste.

7. Leaving it too late – even with a gift list, if you don’t get in there quickly enough, you might be left with gifts which are either very boring or really expensive, particularly if you are on a limited budget.

8. Panic-buying – choosing a gift because you are worried you will turn up with nothing is no way to select a wedding present for a friend or family member. Going to wrap up your gift and realising that you have chosen something really ugly, inappropriate or just odd is a nightmare.

Buying a wedding gift shouldn’t cause such stress, so if you are finding it hard then it’s time to focus on what is important.

Decide on your budget, think about the couple and choose something that you think they will like, or even something which will give them a choice to relieve the pressure on you.

In Body Language & Negotiations: If You See Fists, See Opportunities – Negotiation Tip of the Week

In body language and negotiations, if you see someone displaying a fist, that’s the time to see opportunities. That’s true in any aspect of your life and even more so in a negotiation.

In a negotiation, when a negotiator displays a fist they’re displaying several hidden thoughts. They’re exhibiting signs of angst and/or possibly fear, along with a narrower mindset. It’s also a sign that the other negotiator wants to alter the current environment in ways that might not be overly pleasant for you.

In such situations don’t cower. Instead, display a sense of calmness, self-assuredness, and commitment. You might even consider matching the tonality of the other person or lowering your tone; one action versus the other would depend on the person displaying the gesture, your relationship with that person, and where you would like to take the negotiation next.

The point is, when you see a negotiator display a fist, understand the thought process that’s going through his mind. If you display weakness at such times, you could be inviting more of the fist displaying behavior.

When such a display is brandished, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is this a ploy to see how I’ll react?
  2. Is this an attempt to intimidate me?
  3. If this is an attempt to intimidate me, how might I respond to display his lack of effectiveness?
  4. What precipitated his behavior and is it founded?
  5. Should I apologize for a perceived infraction and if I do what effect will that have on the negotiation?
  6. What is he attempting to do with his fist gesture versus another gesture that might reveal his unhappiness?
  7. Have I missed a gesture(s) that I should have been more aware of and if I did, what might it/they be?
  8. Should I openly acknowledge his demeanor and what will that do to the negotiation?
  9. How might I assuage his behavior while displaying empathy and not letting him take advantage of me?
  10. What opportunities are now before me as the result of his current mindset?

When someone displays their fist, it’s usually a sign of aggression. Thus, you have to heighten your awareness to the factors mentioned above to assess why the display was made at this time and the effect that such a display has on the mental state of mind of that negotiator and the negotiation.

If you’re astutely attuned to such a gesture, you’ll realize that a mental shift has occurred. That shift can also give you an opportunity to control the negotiation. That’s true because at the point of the fist display, what you do after you see it will determine what occurs in the negotiation from that point.

So, in the future, when you see someone displaying a fist, don’t become afraid. Instead, consider what manner of control you’ll exercise to move the negotiation in the direction that serves your purpose. If done so masterfully, the other negotiator will apologize for his behavior. That will give you a greater sense of control because you’ll be in a position to be amicable by allowing him to amend his behavior via a concession or whatever serves you. For the time it last, he’ll be malleable. Use it to your advantage… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!