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Dealing With Outrageous Concession Requests in the Sale of Your Bay Area Home

You’ve probably read about as-is sales on my blog or heard about me talk about them on my video. In those transactions, buyers agree to purchase a home in its current condition. Usually, buyers will waive any contingencies, as they’re saying in writing that they’re going to purchase the property, regardless of what any inspections uncover, financing issues, or anything else that can be covered by a contingency. It’s important to note that when a buyer makes a non-contingent offer on a home, or agrees to purchase the property as-is, the seller is not required to grant requests for improvement from the buyer. In fact, sellers in California aren’t even required to respond to those requests! 

However, most offers that come through have some contingencies in place. Some of these contingencies are completely normal. Buyers often put contingencies in place that ensure that they can receive financing for the price of the home, that the property appraises for the listed amount, or even that they’re able to sell their home before they commit to purchasing the home they’re trying to buy. Other contingencies can cover everything including termite inspections, house inspections, mold inspections, radon inspections, and any other number of inspections. 90% of buyers come in with termite inspection and home inspection contingencies, but there are certainly others out there.

In this blistering market, it’s not uncommon for buyers to make a non-contingent offer. However, it’s also common for buyers to come in with some absolutely ridiculous concession requests under the guise of contingencies. What should you do if you receive a ridiculous concession request from a buyer? 

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Some Real Life Examples

Over my years in the real estate industry, I’ve seen virtually every type of concession request that you can imagine. Since we’re talking about ridiculous concession requests today, let me share some that I’ve encountered.

Recently, I was listing a property that was kind of on the fringes of the San Francisco Bay area, where some homes are a but more complicated than others. There are easements, water rights, zoning, surveys, and other issues that regularly come up in that part of the area. This property wasn’t really complicated. It was just a standard three-bedroom, two-bathroom farmhouse. 

The buyer and their agent asked for a foundation inspection and claimed that they had found multiple fractures in the home’s foundation. Their concession request was for $100,000! After looking into the inspector, reading Yelp reviews, and looking at other information, I found out that their inspector was a scam artist. The buyer fell out of contract, and two or three days later, my seller and I received a higher offer from a different buyer. 

Another example that I’ve recently run into was on a townhome that was only around 10 years old. The buyer didn’t make a non-contingent offer, which meant they were able to take advantage of the inspection window. Their inspector reported that the rise on the steps was not up to California’s codes. The problem that he claimed to have found was that one of the steps was around half an inch too high. Their concession request was absolutely ridiculous, as they stated that they needed my seller to take $10,000 off the price of the home so they could rip out the entire staircase and build a new one. I brought in another inspector who said there was absolutely nothing wrong with the stairs, and that every staircase he had ever seen had at least one step that was half an inch too high or too low. I let the buyer’s agent know that we wouldn’t be extending the $10,000 concession, and that his client could either take the home in its present condition, or they could walk away. The buyer quickly backed down, and the contract was executed. 

What You Need to Remember

When you’re selling a home, it’s important to remember that buyers will always try to beat you on the deal. The buyer and their agent are only looking for a way to get your home for as little as possible, and if they can trick you into offering an absolutely ridiculous concession, they will certainly do that. No, that doesn’t mean that buyers and their agents are bad. It simply means that they’re looking for a way to save as much money on your home.

Just today, I received a concession request on a large property that I have listed for sale. The home is quite large, there’s a lot of acreage, and multiple structures on the property. The home has passed all the inspections that were requested by the buyer, but the buyer’s agent simply said that his client needed a concession because he had a lack of “personal comfort” with the property. Obviously, personal comfort is a ridiculous reason to ask for the seller to make a concession. I advised my client that he shouldn’t give into the request, he didn’t, and the concession request was denied.

How to Deal with Ridiculous Concession Requests

The best way to deal with concession requests that are completely ridiculous is to refuse to give into them. After years of experience representing sellers in the Bay Area, I’ve seen all kinds of ridiculous concession requests, and I’ve always encouraged my clients to absolutely refuse to back down. If a home has passed inspection and someone says that they need $10,000 knocked off the agreed-upon price because they’re just not “comfortable” with the property, to hell with them! 

Yes, you may lose the deposit that the buyer placed on the property. However, you’re still going to sell your home. If you have good pricing, excellent marketing, and a dependable real estate agent working on your behalf, you’re going to find one of the other buyers who is looking for a home just like yours. 

How should you deal with ridiculous concession requests? Turn them down. Don’t think twice about it, and if the buyer decides that they want to give up on buying your home, let them go. Your realtor can help you find a new buyer, and you may just find that you’ll get an even better offer on your property. 

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Seb is convinced that the greater San Francisco Bay Area is not just a nice place to live. He knows that it does, on balance, provides an unparalleled opportunity for folks who live here to live the best life imaginable.
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