Negotiating when Buying a Home in Vancouver is a multifaceted process that extends beyond simply agreeing on a price. Savvy buyers understand that there are numerous other aspects of the transaction that can be negotiated to their advantage, potentially saving both time and money.

However, it’s essential to approach negotiations with sensitivity and awareness, as certain requests could potentially sour the deal if they’re perceived as unreasonable or intrusive. Let’s delve deeper into four negotiation points that buyers commonly consider, along with some important caveats to keep in mind.

Inclusions of Non-Permanent ItemsBuying a Home in Vancouver

One common negotiation point is the inclusion of non-permanent items in the sale. Sellers may itemize certain furnishings or personal belongings that they plan to take with them, but there’s often room for negotiation.

“The typical things people put in contracts would be appliances, window coverings, a hot tub, pool equipment or patio sets,” says Wozniak. “Buyers can also ask for things like the pool table, freezers, and believe it or not, livestock if it’s a rural property. Sometimes, sellers let us know that things are available.”

However, it’s crucial to tread carefully and avoid requesting items of high sentimental value or significance to the sellers, as this could strain the negotiation process.

Closing Dates and LeasebacksBuying a Home in Vancouver

Negotiating the closing date or temporary leasebacks is another area where flexibility can benefit both parties. Buyers often seek a closing date that aligns with their timeline, allowing for a smooth transition into their new home.

“Some want a long possession time, others a short possession time or the sellers rent back the property from the buyers temporarily,” However, if the sellers need a super quick sale because they’re leaving the country, don’t ask for a move-in date six months from now, or you might talk yourself right out of the deal.

Additionally, sellers may require a leaseback period to accommodate their own relocation plans. While it’s common to negotiate occupancy dates, buyers should be mindful of the seller’s circumstances. Requesting an unreasonable possession date, such as a significant delay, could potentially jeopardize the transaction.

Cleanup and Clearing Out – Buying a Home in Vancouver

When Buying a Home in Vancouver, Buyers may also negotiate for the property to be cleaned up and cleared out before taking possession. This could involve requesting the removal of clutter, debris, or unwanted items from the premises. Including a clause in the offer stipulating the condition of the property upon transfer of ownership can help ensure that the buyers receive the property in the desired state.

“With cleanup, there could be a hold back on the contract to ensure the home is cleaned to a certain standard and then that’s paid out at the end of the deal once it’s certified everything’s done properly,” explains Wozniak. It’s important to recognize that sellers may not be willing or able to accommodate extensive cleanup requests, so buyers should be reasonable in their expectations.

Minor Repairs – Buying a Home in Vancouver

Asking for certain cosmetic fixes such as touching up ceiling paint after water damage was repaired or getting the sellers to replace a non-functional doorbell before you get the keys is often acceptable. So is anything that concerns the safety of the property or issues a home inspector might find.

“If it’s a latent defect—something you don’t see that the inspection reveals—like a crack in the foundation, something wrong with the gas in the mechanical room, a leaking appliance, a cracked heat exchanger, or a missing hand railing on the set of stairs, you can ask for those to be repaired because that’s a safety issue,” says Wozniak. 

You can also ask for a discount on the price if you discover the roof is in poor shape. But don’t bother asking the sellers for a complete kitchen renovation or to gut a bathroom—that won’t happen.

a man with a hammer on top of a roof

Tap into the experience of your REALTOR®

In navigating these negotiations, buyers should rely on the expertise of their real estate agent. A skilled agent can provide valuable guidance and advocacy throughout the negotiation process, helping buyers craft competitive offers while avoiding potential pitfalls.

Everyone will face different experience when buying a Home in Vancouver, and your negotiations will be dependent on your personal situation. But, with an expert REALTOR® in your corner, you can trust you’ll be in good hands no matter what. 

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If you would like to learn more about Vancouver’s housing market, or if you are interested in selling or purchasing a property, please contact Sam Hung, one of the best Realtors in Greater Vancouver.