What to do with a demanding buyer
Julie Garton-Good, GRI, DREI

You've looked forward to the day the negotiations on the sale of your home would be complete. But it seems like it's never enough for the buyers. They are constantly coming back with additional demands in a game that looks like they're trying to win it all, even after the purchase agreement is signed! In fact, they've even threatened not to apply for financing until you give in to their latest demand to leave the appliances with the house. You're frustrated, tired, and just about to tell him to take a walk--a long one!

But wait. There are some counter techniques that just may get them to back off. After all, it takes both a buyer and a seller to negotiate a sale!

  1. Just say "no".If you tell them no, they may do nothing. If they still threaten to back out, you could point out that they may lose the earnest money deposit (depending on how the purchase agreement is written.) That could be the end of the discussion. Money is a powerful negotiating tool.
  2. "I could back out, too!"If they wants to reopen the contract for negotiations, remind them that it would invalidate the original agreement. In other words, a counteroffer creates a whole new offer, one that you don't have to agree to! Your new negotiations could include a higher price, a larger down payment required; in fact, you might decide not to sell the property to them at all! The threat of counteroffers is great leverage!
  3. "What are you willing to give up?"Perhaps they would be willing to trade-off something they've won in the negotiations, like you paying some of their closing costs, etc. If you bring this up, you'll quickly determine if what they want to win is really important to them.
  4. Increase the sales price?You could rewrite the purchase agreement at a higher price to compensate for the appliances (if it's still within what you think would be the appraised value).
  5. They could purchase the items from you. If they are truly interested in having the personal property, let them come up with the cash to pay you for them.

If you try the steps we've listed, you may be surprised that a little extra negotiation on your part goes a long way to ending the buyer's additional requests in short order!

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