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When do we stop negotiating?

Winning the bidding wars

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Dear Phyllis,

I had six bids almost immediately after getting my home on the market. I accepted the highest which I am now regretting. The buyer’s agent is from Orange County and never shows up for inspections, but that’s another story. We extended our 30 day escrow giving the buyer another 14 days. After the 14 days passed, the buyer’s agent notified my agent that the buyers now want me to pay $5,000 in buyer closing costs. I had already made a few repairs after the buyer’s inspector nitpicked the home to death. When do we stop negotiating?


Dear JL,

You have several issues to address. First, why isn’t the buyer closing? If the buyer has loan approval,  your Realtor needs to review a written copy of the  loan approval. Or you may need to move back to square one if not. Have your Realtor contact each agent who wrote an offer. Fortunately for you it’s a seller’s market and likely most of the buyers may not have yet found a home.

Take a look at the Residential Purchase Agreement that you and the buyer signed. Likewise there are typically contingency periods in this contract. The buyer was allowed a certain number of days typically 5 – 17 to remove their investigative (inspection) contingency and typically 21 days to remove their loan contingency. Once  removed, you stop negotiating.

When do we stop negotiating

Most purchase contracts require that the buyer remove their contingencies in writing. Often buyers and their Realtor do not remove these contingencies in a timely fashion and the sellers’ real estate agent should send the buyer’s Realtor a Notice to Perform notifying the buyer that the (applicable) contingency needs to be removed in writing. Only after the removal of buyer contingencies can you make a claim to the buyer’s earnest money deposit.

If contingencies have not been removed with your being more than 45 days into this escrow, I suggest you bring this up with your agent and or their manager. As far as the buyer renegotiating the sale after six weeks into escrow, that’s your decision. But you are certainly not under any obligation to do so.

Related Posts: When to stop disclosing
How much access is the buyer allowed for inspections
Seller didn’t make agreed upon repairs

One thought on “When do we stop negotiating?

  1. Roger says:

    Personally I think it’s pretty darn nervy to try and renegotiate terms after the deal is done. These buyers are betting the sellers don’t want to go back to square one and are trying to take advantage of that

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