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Let's Be Realistic

By MIKE LIGHTBOURN WHILE many areas of the Bahamas are experiencing what we might call a "buyer's market", you need to exercise caution when making offers below asking prices. Bargaining is an art, and the last thing you want to do is insult a seller by making a silly offer. You risk angering a seller by making an unreasonably low offer. The seller might not even contemplate a counter offer under these circumstances. In general, offers on higher priced properties have more room for flexibility in price reductions than do lower priced ones. Often, the length of time the property has been on the market gives you an indication of the possibility of a larger price reduction. However, your BREA agent will know how to handle negotiations and can advise you based on similarly sold and listed properties. The seller may also lower the price if, for instance, previously undetected structural damage or termite infestation comes to light. If this is the case, sit down with your BREA agent and make a list of reasons to share with the seller as to why your offer is less than the asking price. Alternatively, consider negotiating other terms of the purchase, such as closing costs or repairs. A reduction on those aspects can still yield desired savings. Do not attempt to negotiate yourself. You may wish to have your BREA agent represent you and not represent the vendor. This would mean you would pay him/her as opposed to the vendor doing so. This position would, of course, be made known to both parties before proceeding. If there are other attractive homes for sale in your price range and your offer is rejected outright, look at these homes. If there are not, the seller has the upper hand if his price conforms to current comparables. Mike Lightbourn is president of Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty

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