The Art of the Deal

I’m sometimes asked about the best way to negotiate with developers.

Eighteen months ago, someone else would have closed on your condo before you could spit out the word offer. But now? Sure. Absolutely. But keep it real. The market in central Florida is slow – but it’s not open season. Yet.

And while we’re on the subject, let’s get another thing straight: Buyers: statistics show that agents generally do a much better job at saving buyers money than buyers do themselves, but if you decide not to use an agent, that’s your prerogative. But not having an agent doesn’t entitle you to recoup that agent’s commission yourself – unless you have a real estate license that is. So, if you fancy yourself as a negotiator, by all means negotiate. But stick to price, amenities and finishes. Developers are unlikely to be impressed with statements like “Well I don’t have an agent, so I want another 3% off.” Folks, it just doesn’t work that way. Or does it?

Developers: by all means drop your prices. But be clear that you’re not negotiating on the basis that buyer doesn’t have an agent. Allowing buyers to think they can save in this way not only encourages ignorance but is a risky strategy to adopt. And word travels fast. If you value the trade that agents bring, allowing buyer discounts on this basis, might just backfire.

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