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Making an Offer The Seller Can't Refuse

Take It And Run: Ilyce's Corner
By Ilyce Glink for Right at Home Daily

My friends have just made an offer for a home. At first, the negotiations went smoothly and they and the sellers agreed on a price. But suddenly, the discussions stalled, and my friend was confused.

"We've agreed to their price. Why don't they come back and accept our counter offer?" she asked.

Why indeed? It seems silly that sellers would balk on the final acceptance of a counter-offer when their property has been sitting vacant for the past six months. Wouldn't they want to go on with their lives?

They might, but the seller's agent may be shopping around the office. Once an offer comes in, the seller's agent is motivated to try to do better for the seller. So he or she may be calling around to all the other agents who have recently brought buyers through the property. This isn't exactly ethical behavior, but it happens frequently.

Another reason for the delay is the sellers may not be emotionally ready to accept an offer, especially if they're going to lose money in a really hot seller's market. They won't be able to brag to their friends about how well they did, because they lost a ton of cash. In this case, the seller's broker has a tough time working the sellers through the psychology of selling.

Finally, the sellers may be out of town, or their agent may be in the midst of negotiating two or three deals at the same time. While this won't make you feel any better, at least you can be comforted that it's not something you've done.

The best thing you can do is put a time limit on your contract. That way, you've given the sellers a hard deadline against which they will lose this deal - and possibly their best offer.

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