Negotiations – Beyond the Purchase Price

When buying or selling real estate, there is often a lot of focus on the sales price. It is logical that buyers want to pay the lowest price possible, while sellers aim to keep the price as high as they can.

Because price is so important, it is often a key factor when it comes to negotiations. Offers and counter offers go back and forth, each party striking out the previous price and suggesting a new one in its place.


There’s no doubt that price is a point of negotiation in buying and selling a property – but it is only one of many factors that can be negotiated in the contract of purchase and sale.

You can make the deal more attractive or offer concessions in other areas, too.


Dates will play a more important role in some transactions that in others. Here are a few examples where you can use dates as a key negotiation tool:

  • The other party is on a time crunch, often because they have already committed to selling their previous property (if they are the buyer in the current deal) or because they already have an accepted offer on another property (if they are the seller in the current deal). The timeline for the current deal needs to align with the timeline on their other deal, otherwise they may have to deal with expensive bridge financing, temporary rentals, etc. This can also come up if the party has to move quickly, for example, if they have been transferred for work.
  • One party really wants the use of the property for a certain occasion. For example, a seller may sweeten the deal for a buyer by moving the closing date to just before the holidays, allowing the new buyer to enjoy the use of the house in time for Christmas with the family. Or, a buyer could offer to wait to close on the property until after the ski season ends, allowing the current owners to close out on final ski season in their home (or to see the kids through the end of their ski lessons).

When timing matters to one or both parties, dates can be an important area of negotiation.

Furniture and Other Inclusions

Furnishings are included in some, but not all, Whistler property listings. If furniture is not included, it may be possible to negotiate it into the contract of purchase in sale. A furniture package can offer tens of thousands of dollars in value – not only in terms of the cost of replacing the furniture itself, but also in terms of the expense of shopping around for new pieces, paying delivery and assembly fees, etc.

Maybe there is a perfect piece of custom art hung in the foyer, or a fleet of kayaks stored in the garage of a lakefront property – these are all factors that may be negotiated into the deal. Of course, there is no guarantee, but this may be a way of offering value that doesn’t involve changing the sales price.

Responsibility for Costs

On the front page of a standard Contract of Purchase and Sale, there is a list of “Costs to be Borne by the Seller” and “Costs to be Borne by the Buyer”. These include things like GST, Land Title Registration fees, etc.

Technically, these costs may be amended; a seller and a buyer can agree that a cost under “Costs to be Borne by the Buyer”, for example, is instead to be borne by the Seller, even when it is not traditionally the case.

In essence, just because something is usually done one way, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be negotiated to be done another way. Negotiations involve thinking outside the box and thinking beyond just the purchase price. Looking for someone to help you get creative with negotiations? Please contact me for details!

Dave Burch

Buying and selling homes can be stressful. Dave streamlines the process. No wild expectations. Just honesty, clarity and the results that come with hard work. Dave Burch knows Whistler inside out, and shares his knowledge with enthusiasm.

Call him. He will answer.