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Meeting with the Seller a good idea or no?

I extended an offer on a home a few days ago.  The seller countered, and I re-countered.  We are somewhat close (right now about 10k difference), and it just got me thinking:
(To get these things out of the way: I love my realtor.  She's an old friend we just happened to meet again through looking for homes.  She's been very up front with me about everything and always had my interest in mind.  I'm just curious what others think)
Is it ever a good idea to go meet the sellers and speak to each other?  I saw them when I went to look at the house but they left quickly, nothing more than a hi and bye. I just feel like it would be a good idea to meet and talk about some things, as well as maybe find the sweet spot for both of our pricings on the home..

T.I.A
  • May 03 2013 - Freehold Township
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Answers (9)

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@Gerry... Yes.  I originally thought of a price in my head I was willing to pay... And I just gave it to them as my "Best and Final" offer.  However, if they come back and it's 1-2 off, I don't believe it's worth the argument to get it to the # I came up with.  I am happy in the ballpark, and I plan to fix little things up here and there to drive the price up while I live there anyway.  I don't the point in arguing for 1-2k when I plan on being there for a long time anyway..
  • May 03 2013
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Sini,

I can appreciate how frustrating and grinding an experience this is for you and other buyers.

It sounds like your agent is very actively engaged and is working in your best interests.  I would bounce your ideas off of her and continue to trust her since she is going to better understand the nuances of this situation.  You have already traveled down this road with her and she is apparently doing her job.

In regards to an end price, know that this doesn't always end with both sides edging exactly to the middle.  The sellers may feel that their original list price was fair.  Your Realtor has likely given you her opinion of value.  You should be thinking about what price am I willing to pay for the home.  If it's the home you really desire and you plan to live there 10-20 years, you will not remember that extra 1-2K you paid.

Just some of my thoughts here.
  • May 03 2013
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Every situation is different. My experience has shown it's not a good idea for them to meet prior to an accepted offer. Some agents have had their buyers end up offering much more than the property is worth because they listened to all the "love" the sellers put into the house. The "love" they put into the home is usually the reason the buyers want the home, but it doesn't necessarily increase the value of the home. Negotiating  price should be non-emotional and the 2 sets of people emotionally involved in the home usually (not always) result in an unrealistic price. That being said, psychologically, by your counter almost immediately, indicates a willingness on your part to increase your offer. Psychologically, by waiting overnight for the sellers to counter, portrays a reluctance on the sellers part to come down in price. It's part of the negotiation process. At this point, it might be wise to present your best and final counter and mean it. If they counter again, stand strong knowing you presented your best offer. Make sure that your offer is not more than your Realtor thinks it will appraise for. It's time to remove the emotion for a little while.

Good luck.
  • May 03 2013
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@Gerry - They have been on the phone multiple times, but it seems their realtor is stubborn and won't really budge too much or divulge much information.  That's why the initial question of meeting the sellers was asked... It's frustrating being so close and not being able to get it done.  I feel as though they are going to make us wait until tomorrow again just to come down another 1-2k
  • May 03 2013
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In regards to my buyers meeting the sellers.  Sometimes I would like that other times I would not.  It depends on the situation and how endearing my buyers may or may not be.

You are getting close now and instead of countering 1-2K at a time.  Why don't you get your agent on the phone with the listing agent and find out where that end price is going to be and what other terms are important to the sellers.
  • May 03 2013
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As an added update...  My realtor just got back to me and said they came down another $2K.. I just countered again so now we are sitting at a $5K difference..  I don't really understand why I counter quickly, then they sit on it for a day... Every time I've offered, they've sat on it a night and re-countered 1st thing in the AM. Their realtors strategy?
  • May 03 2013
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Personally, I feel that meeting the seller is a great idea. Even though we do our best to present all the info about a house, there is no one better than the owner who may know additional facts that we as Realtors may not be informed of in regards to the house. This may result in additional justification for the asking price, in some cases showing the buyer the hidden pluses may result in the decision to increase of an offer or splitting the difference. Sometimes, showing the seller that you are the right fit for the house and explaining your financial situation may help (after all, they once were the buyers).
  • May 03 2013
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I disagree with Brian. As a buyer it can be a real eye opener to meet the sellers or it can be a deal sealer. I have had buyers drive by a house I showed them and ran into the seller and in each case it was a good thing and made the buyers more comfortable about the purchase. In my cases it was after the offer was made, I would not meet with them until an offer is made and agreed to.
  • May 03 2013
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Buyer and seller meeting together is NEVER a good idea! they hired an agent because they didn't want to deal with selling it on their own. Realtors are expert negotiators (well most are)  counter again and if you want to have it personal then write a letter explaining how you love the home and will take care of it, etc.. meeting with them directly could make things worse! if you or they come across the wrong way it may kill the deal completely!!

good luck
  • May 03 2013
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