Home Buyer Negotiating Mistakes – Part 2

Exhibiting Urgency. Few things sap negotiating power like exhibiting urgency. Agents smell urgency and will encourage the seller to drag their feet until you can’t stand it anymore and make a full-price offer. Remember, a real estate agent representing a seller is legally obligated to get the most money possible for the seller. If you have to be out of your house in 45 days because the buyer is closing and taking occupancy, keep it to yourself. If the seller or agent senses this, kiss your chances of negotiating anything goodbye. Remember, always play the reluctant buyer. You are looking at several attractive options and you are perfectly comfortable staying in your current house for the next year. Many times, if you are a serious buyer, the real estate agent or the seller will try to drag an offer, even a lower offer, out of you. Then you know you are shifting the momentum in your favor.

Trusting a Real Estate Agent to Negotiate for You. Don’t. Do. IT! As I said, real estate agents have little required training in negotiation to get a license. Furthermore, most real estate agents, even buyer’s agents, are still paid based on a percentage of the sales price of the house. And they are paid by the seller. Just think about the conflict of interest this creates. Consider that the seller is representing his or her best interests. The seller’s real estate agent is representing the seller’s best interests. The buyer’s agent (your agent) is getting paid based on what the house sells for so they are representing their own best interests. Who is looking out for you? You are. Ensure you know how to protect yourself. Because if your agent negotiates a better deal for you, that is money out of their pocket. This doesn’t mean that no agent will negotiate for you. There are some excellent buyer’s agents out there that will aggressively protect the buyer’s money. I highly recommend using a real estate buyer’s agent for a variety of reasons. Just make sure you have one of the good, experienced ones and not one that is protecting their money.

Offering Too Much Initially for a House. In negotiation, always offer lower than you expect to get. Offering too high doesn’t leave you sufficient room to arrive at your goals. People have an overwhelming tendency to end up in the middle of the range between asking price and offer price. That means you have some control in determining where the middle is. A friend of mine was recently negotiating a new home. The asking price was $349,000. My friend offered $275,000. The actual sales price: $310,000. What chance do you think my friend would have had in obtaining a sales price of $310,000 had he started out at $305,000? Zero. Remember, sellers price their homes high expecting to be negotiated down. Your first offer, and the manner in which you increase your offer, have significant influence on what you eventually pay for your home.

When you decide to buy your home, make sure you adequately prepare and avoid these costly mistakes. Understand that you must be the person looking after your best interests and that you may very likely be the only one. Gathering sufficient information and learning a few brown-bag negotiating skills can save you tens of thousands of dollars when you buy your home.

Give Yourself the Present of Being Present

Have you noticed how GOOD you have it? How ABUNDANT your life really is?

Or are you stressing about holiday hutsle and bustle? I remember plenty of years where I MISSED the holiday, the season and everything that was really great and precious because I was focused on everything I thought I didn’t have like:

1. Not having enough money to buy the holiday presents I wanted to buy.

2. Not having friends to celebrate the holidays with.

3. Not having my family members treat me the way I’d like.

4. Not having the funds to take a fabulous vacation.

5. Not having a passionate romance in my life.

This year my focus is much different. And I’ve seen the amazing difference even a year can make. This year I choose to focus on what I DO have:

1. A healthy body that lovingly moves me through every hour of each day.

2. A love relationship with God that that continues to amaze and dazzle me.

3. An opportunity to create all things new in this glorious New Year.

4. A sweet and smokey smell filling my glowing fireplace.

5. The luxury of taking time to reflect on what is most meaningful to me.

6. The ability to let go of all people, thoughts and things that are meant to move on.

As a result of focusing on what I do have, everything that I haven’t had in the past has either been brought to me or I have been brought to peace with it.

It’s a beautiful place to be.

I hope and pray you give yourself the gift of being present with what is. Enjoy ALL that you do have and remember you have what it takes to live a legendary life!

© 2007 Gina Ratliffe

A Guide to Making Your Own Birthday Presents

Have a think about this scenario: a member of your family’s birthday is coming up and you have no idea what to buy. They don’t have any requests and you could could even go so far as to say they’re ‘the person who has everything’. Needless to say you leave it too late and end up buying another mindless, bog standard gift just because you have to. Sound familiar? Now’s the time to put an end to sub standard gift giving and go that extra mile; not by spending more but by making your gift from scratch.

Whether you’re an experienced crafter or not, making a birthday present is suitable for all ages, budgets and time constraints. Paper mache bowls filled with scented pot pourri is a thoughtful present for women. Easy to make and cheap to do, paper mache is created by diluting a PVA glue mix and applying it to newspaper strips over a mould. In this case, apply the strips to a bowl of your choosing; not forgetting to wrap the ‘mould’ bowl in a thin layer of cling film so the mould and the paper mache can be separated when dry. After the paper mache has set, your bowl is now ready to paint with a design of your choosing; perhaps something that is in keeping with the person you’re gifting to.

If it’s a birthday boy you’re buying for why not opt for another simple and affordable gift such as a bespoke ceramic mug? Plain white mugs can be picked up cheaply from a home store such as Ikea for next to nothing and can then be decorated with a wash-resistant enamel paint. To get your creative juices following it’s a good starting place to think about what your recipient likes and try and translate this onto your mug. You could also look into applying a photograph onto the mug which is another personal touch. Kits to do this can be bought from most art stores and don’t cost the earth.

Finally, if you’re looking for a present that’s great at any age why not opt for a hamper filled with edible goodies? Hampers come in a range of sizes and styles and allow you to get creative in selecting which items you fill them with. Birthday hampers are the perfect surprise at any age; especially if you include a bottle of alcoholic or non alcoholic fizz, a birthday cake, some sweet treats like chocolates and even a helium balloon! If your recipients birthday lands in the summer months you could even go so far as to create a birthday picnic hamper and enjoy a celebration out in the sun.

Don’t get stuck in the cycle of giving boring gifts. Turn gift giving into a fun and creative experience by making your own presents from scratch; they’re guaranteed to be completely unforgettable.