There are many reasons to be emotional during the sale of your home while negotiating an offer. Change is difficult. You’re making a big decision and selling the largest asset you own. You have an offer but don’t know whether to accept, counter, or refuse it. How do you navigate the deal.
Your home is one of many comparable properties, and likely not the only house buyers are willing to consider, so if your offer falls through they likely have another choice lined up.
Will negotiating with prospective buyers over the appliances or $5,000 below your bottom line be worth it? Here are some things to consider when deciding if they should accept less:
Are you making an emotional decision? We apply sentimental value to our houses; after all we lived, laughed, and loved there. Remember it’s not personal – this is a business transaction.
Can you accept and move on financially? If you have debt on the property, consider whether your bottom line is a want vs. a need. It’s important to be realistic about your property’s current market value. Your property is not be confused with a bank. If you used its equity to service other debt, chances are, you won’t get that money back when it comes time to sell. And if you over improved your home with pricey features you might not recoup that investment either.
What is it costing you to keep your property on the market? Beyond the cost of interest, taxes, utility costs, and maintenance to stay in the house – add to that the emotional stress, an offer you have on another property (while you’re waiting to sell yours), a need to relocate for work, or desire for change.
Jekyll and Hyde – The Split Personalities of Dual Representation in Real Estate
You scour the listings, go to open houses, and hunt for a place to call your own. Real estate isn’t the easiest world to navigate and talking to listing agents has made you realize they’re in it to sell that house for the seller. So, you hire a real estate agent to represent your interests as a buyer.
Finally your dream house presents itself and you’re ready to initiate an offer. There’s just one bump in the road…..The perfect house is listed by your agent’s brokerage. What does this mean to you, the seller, and agents?
Ideally, there should be four parties in a real estate transaction: buyer and agent, seller and agent. In the above scenario, one company is now working both sides of the same deal – this is called dual agency or multiple representation, and it can be a difficult situation or, if treated properly, can work out for all involved.
Dual agency can occur in two ways:
Two agents working for same brokerage, each representing a separate buyer and seller (as above). Or, one agent representing both buyer and seller (known as ‘double ending’). It is important to recognize that humans (even real estate agents) aren’t perfect and the potential for greed trumping “doing the right thing” just exists. If you find yourself in this situation it is key to double check every representation made to you to your own objective satisfaction. If you ever find yourself in a situation where an agency has both ends of the deal, or an agent, or a close relation does, be sure to remind yourself that knowing is far better than believing.
Multiple representation is legal in Ontario, but a disclosure form must be signed by both buyer and seller advising them of the agent/brokerage’s limitations. Dual agents are bound by law and ethics to treat both buyers and sellers honestly and fairly. The agent/brokerage is unable to provide financial duties to both parties and they can’t divulge confidential information about each party to the other.
If you do find yourself in that situation, be sure the details your contract are clear. Know what services they will be performing for you, how they are to be paid, and how conflicts will be rectified .
Looking to learn more about transparency and how this works? Contact the author at 613.676.4463 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.