Real (Estate) Talk: September

Realtors Brad Moore and Alison Maguire of Keller Williams Real Estate’s Moore Maguire Group take a look at the borough’s booming market.

Most of life’s transactions are fairly straight forward:you go into a store,you see something you want, it’s got a price, and that’s what you pay for it. In the real estate world, however, trans-actions can be — and usually are — a little more complex, and are often the result of a series of negotiations.

Most buyers (and sellers) already know that the list price on a sale property is not always set in stone. The seller, working in con-junction with the listing broker, assesses the property, the current market, and comparable properties in the area, and together they come up with a list price for the home. But there is a series of other factors and contingencies that can determine what the property ultimately sells for.

While price may be the most common thing people think of when they hear the term “negotiations” applied to real estate transactions, our experienced team has seen many other factors contribute to the buying and selling process. Among the most common negotiable items are things like the date of settlement,the deposit amount, any inclusions or exclusions, built-in appliances, light fixtures, washer and dryer, and refrigerator. But we’ve also seen negotiations extend beyond the common place, and into things like furniture pieces, specific types of financing, the amount of down payment money, inspections and inspection time frames; a buyer can even negotiate with his or her mortgage company.

There are also instances where the buyer may want to negotiate a “seller assist” during the negotiations. This is where the buyer has an approved mortgage, but where he or she may not have enough cash on hand for the closing costs, which is the money they have to bring to the settlement table. Seller assists area more common negotiation tactic during the inspection process,if, for instance, there are material defects that come up that the buyer asks the seller to fix, and in lieu of repairing the items, the seller and buyer agree to credits. These credits go towards closing costs for the buyer, which are associated with the loan, fees, and escrow amounts.

At the end of the day, the seller wants the highest price and the“cleanest” offer with the least contingencies, and the buyer wants the best price he or she can get in obtaining the property. Typically, negotiations don’t last more than a couple of days, but they can go dormant and resurface weeks or even months later if something has changed on the buyers’ or sellers’ end, or if a property is significantly overpriced and has a major price reduction.

We have specialists on our team who are skilled at negotiating and strategizing for both the buyer’s and the seller’s side of the equation, and with the experience to navigate the simplest or most complex of transactions in this sellers’ market. And with an average list to sale price ratio in Chester County for the month of July of 96.82%, now is a great time to buy or list your West Chester property with us.

–realtalk@thewcpress.com