Negotiating verbal offers
I usually do my best not to negotiate verbal offers but from time to time I do. As long as my client is okay with negotiating a verbal offer, then I will.
And this is how I go about it:
First, I do not negotiate all the terms in the contract. Negotiating many terms can complicate things. It can become a case of “he said, she said” and we want to avoid that at all costs. Therefore, I advise my clients to only negotiate the important terms.
Second, I only negotiate the most important terms which are price and closing date. By only negotiating these two terms we keep the verbal negotiations simple and to the point. There is no confusion or complication in keeping up with multiple terms. Once we verbally agree on a price and closing date, then we can make any other changes in writing on the contract.
Finally, once we do have an agreement verbally, I emphasize to the other party that since it is verbal, all is fair game. Meaning, if someone else approaches me with an offer in writing, I can take it. There have been circumstances where a verbal agreement has been met and at the time of execution a party has backed out. Then, we are back to square one.
Long story short, until I have the verbal agreement in writing, everything is fair game. No need to waste time or complicate terms. If a better written offer comes into play, then we have every right to move forward with that other offer.
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