I’ll admit it; I am a terrible negotiator.
When I buy a car, I consider myself fortunate if I don’t end up paying more than the sticker price.
So when it came time to negotiate the price of our new home, we did so with all the comfort and confidence of a liberal at his first day of work at the Fox News Network.
We had noticed that people were not shy about putting in preposterous offers on the Westchester townhouse we were selling, so we wanted to try the same strategy. Except that we were ashamed to. We knew how we felt when we got offers at 20% below the asking price, and we didn’t want to inflict that sort of emotional strain on other people.
Plus, since we had accepted an offer on our house, we really needed a place to live. We didn’t have the luxury of putting in a series of ridiculous offers in the hope that someone was desperate enough to accept one of them. “Uh, yes, I’d like to offer you $100,000 less than you’re asking, but I’ll throw in 126 Beanie Babies, mint with tags.”
So we sheepishly started at 10% below asking. They came down a bit, we came up a bit more, they came down an inch, we came up a foot and we wound up at about 3% below asking because I am, as I mentioned earlier, a terrible negotiator.
At least it wasn’t above asking.
Little did I know that the negotiations weren’t over. On our townhouse, the buyers did an inspection, found a few things, and negotiated a rebate of sorts to cover it. We did an inspection on the new house, found a couple of things, and tried to negotiate a rebate of sorts to cover it. This consisted, essentially, of the following exchange:
US: There’s a problem with this and this and this, and we’d like this amount to cover it.
And so we had a deal. Did I mention I’m a terrible negotiator?
See you again soon.