How Much Can You Ask for in a Real Estate Contract?

Are you one of those people that like to push the envelope? If someone gives you an inch do you try to take a mile? Well, when it comes to devising a real estate contract, it can be a slippery slope. It’s a fine line between asking for the right amount and asking for too much. We often say on home inspections that if you ask for everything you’re likely to get nothing. But, how much is too much? How much can you ask for in a real estate contract?

What’s in a real estate contract?

There are dozens of components that make up the purchase and sale real estate contract. In addition to the description of the property, rights, and obligations, asking price and conditions of closing as well as personal property additions, buyers have the option of pretty much asking for anything. Of course, a seller can reject the offer or counter the offer if it doesn’t meet their standards of appropriation. However, asking for too much might be insulting to a seller negating the entire process and having to start over.

Can you ask for personal property?

Yes! You can literally ask for anything that the seller owns to be included with the purchase of the property. Love that couch or armoire? We can add it to the contract. Even vehicles can be added, however, this is not common and should be navigated delicately. Asking for a piece of furniture to be included with the price can be flattering, but can also add a little bit of tension if the homeowner has no intention of selling personal property.

Can I lowball an offer?

While sellers will still think this is insulting, a lowball offer isn’t necessarily damaging. The cello will most likely counteroffer with a higher price but yet lower than asking price. Keeping emotions at bay will make the process a little bit easier as we navigate the back-and-forth of the real estate contract.

Can I move in before closing?

This is also something that can be negotiated although it is extremely uncommon. If something should fall through at the last minute and the buyers have completely moved in, it could be a hassle getting them back out. We recommend that everyone waits until the transaction has completely closed before buyers move-in or even receive the key. However, sellers can do a rent back program where the buyer actually rents the property for a few days or even a few weeks before closing paying the seller rental fees or adding it to the down payment of the house. This should be negotiated between experienced real estate agents and potentially real estate attorney.

Can I ask for money back at closing?

If sellers are unwilling to complete some repairs they may offer cashback at closing to take care of the repairs. But, this isn’t as simple as handing over cash at the closing table. This must be negotiated and the seller can either come down on the asking price or the seller can give the buyer a lump sum at closing through a seller credit. Related: What to know about buying a fixer upper

We have seen common and strange items being negotiated into real estate contracts over the years including pets. But, just about anything can be negotiated so talking through these items with your real estate agent and the listing agent can help everybody come together on the same page and get the deal done.

Have more real estate questions? Never hesitate to contact our office at any time.


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