Q&A Series – Part 5
Q: When negotiating with the sellers, do we have to meet them at any point? What role do I play as the buyer? – Charlotte
A: Hi Charlotte,
There’s certainly no formal requirement to meet the sellers when you are negotiating to buy their home. In fact, in most instances, the buyer and seller never communicate. All communication is done through their chosen real estate sales representatives and lawyers.
However, there are situations where the buyer and seller do meet. For example, there are times when the seller is home during a showing (this is not recommended though) and the buyer/agent may ask them a few questions. Sometimes, when your agent is negotiating with the seller in person, the buyer and seller will sign the accepted offer together once the deal has been negotiated on their behalf. In that case, they may exchange some information and congratulations.
I remember two specific stories. The first was after a multiple offer that my buyer clients won, the sellers invited them into the home to share in a celebratory glass of wine. It was a nice gesture and when future issues arose, both sides had met the other and were more likely to be more flexible and accommodating to requests. In another case, after a couple of hours of negotiating with the seller resulted in an accepted deal, the sellers once again requested to meet my buyers. We ended up realizing that there were quite a few things they had in common. They were both around the same age and had similar professions. On top of that, one was moving from downtown to Mississauga and the other was moving from Mississauga to downtown Toronto. They almost sort of looked alike too!
Generally, though, the extent of the contact between buyer and seller is in passing or a congratulatory handshake. Because purchasing/selling a home can be a very emotional decision it’s advised to act through your real estate representatives when engaged in the process.
As for the role of the buyer in negotiating, in the end it’s your decision what conditions, deposit, price, and closing date you ultimately want. The real estate agent is there to provide professional guidance, advice, and knowledge. If you’ve chosen the right agent, you can trust in their assessment of the situation. However, it’s your money and your decision and you ultimately decided to either purchase or walk away from the home. Just make sure you make either decision after reviewing all your options!
Photo courtesy of Aidan Jones – Flickr.com