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Here at DCAR, we want to make your jobs easier. That’s why we’ve started up our Tuesday Tidbits series, a now bi-weekly email that will provide you with a useful, relevant piece of information that will hopefully come in handy as you work. If you missed any of the previous editions, those are archived here.

Much of the information we use in these emails comes from the National Association of REALTORS® resources RealtorMag and HouseLogic. We encourage you to browse through their content for other useful tips.

Intangibles Matter

More often than not, the highest bid for a home will be the one that a seller ends up choosing. However, that’s not always the case. If your buyer isn’t willing or able to top the other offers, there are other ways to win the bid.

How to Help Sell Your Buyer

Money talks, but there are plenty of examples of sellers choosing a lower offer, and the reasons they do so vary greatly. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances with the specifics of the offer. Sometimes the seller would rather see the house maintained as opposed to demolished and rebuilt. Sometimes they simply don’t like the individuals who made the highest offer.

The point is sometimes it’s going to all be about the money, but other times, you can tip the scales in your favor without upping the offer.

  1. Don’t be a ruthless negotiator: You want to get the best deal for your client, but sometimes pushing for that extra perk can break the deal. “Don’t nitpick over items that are insubstantial, like a torn window screen or a $50 valve on a hot water heater. This will anger a seller more than anything.”
  2. Make a personal appeal: Sometimes a seller doesn’t want their home going to an investor or somebody who’s going to destroy the house, and instead wants to sell to somebody who will take good care of it. If your buyer feels a personal connection to a home, it can be a good idea to write the seller a heartfelt letter.
  3. Each seller is different: Some sellers are trying to get out as quickly as possible, others need time to find a new home. Learn what’s important to the sellers, then appeal to that. “The more flexible a buyer can be on closing and possession, the more likely they’ll be able to negotiate a lower price. They’re giving the seller peace of mind and the comfort of not having to rush out.”


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The information expressed herein is intended to serve as a general resource guide for the members of the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and is subject to change. While the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® strives to make the information in this email as timely and accurate as possible, the Association makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions. This information should not be taken as legal counsel.

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