In real estate everything is negotiable. Sellers and landlords can ask any prices or terms that makes it profitable for them to want to sell or lease their property to you. It is up to you to determine what you are willing to pay for the property. How you go about determining what price or term is reasonable – that is another topic. The bottom line is that even the commission the agents charge in a real estate deal are negotiable.
Why? You have to understand the premise. At the root of the issue is price fixing. No government wants organized bully in their economy. It is not good for competition. Without competition prices would go up and the value you get from the product or service would go down. Not to mention a lot of unhappy consumers. If real estate agents get together to fix a “standard commission” they would violate fair trade laws. I’m not a lawyer but I do know that price fixing is illegal.
Now, most of the time real estate agent will tell you what is the norm or local practice. That is only a guideline. You don’t have to follow the norm. Why would anyone want to follow the norm? It’s only a guideline. As a buyer or renter you have competition. If you know what most buyer and renter are willing to offer it’s up to you to decide what you want to do? Give yourself choices.
Don’t think that the norm is standard, worst yet “fix”. This will prevent you from negotiating. It is not really a secret but I can tell you many times people will just accept the norm to be non-negotiable. You shouldn’t be one of them.
Original Post Date: February 22, 2009
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