I’ve been fortunate. As my firm has navigated the Westchester Real Estate market, we’ve been uncommonly lucky and have worked with clients who have been smart, honest and easy to work with. In fact, I’ve become fast friends with a handful of our clients and nothing is nicer is then breaking bread and having a couple of drinks with clients who have just closed a life-changing transaction.

But I’ve noticed something recently. From large homes in Chappaqua to small coops in Scarsdale, there seems to be a bitterness and distrust lately between buyers and sellers. Several times in the last month I’ve been reticent to call the other’s parties agent because either my client is negotiating in bad faith or is making unreasonable requests. I’ve also been in transactions where the other side stalls unnecessarily or refuses to communicate appropriately.

These are often the largest transactions of one’s lifetime. The hope is that they are remembered not for the pain, but for the positive end result. With just a bit of consideration, the process runs smoother, and often, quicker.

There are ways just to assure we stay on this happy path and assure smiles at the closing table:

Communicate Well: Or maybe I should say “over-communicate”. Whether you are the buyer or the seller, the end date of the transaction usually has major effects on the other parties plans. Is the appraisal taking longer than expected? Tell the other side. Having an issue closing a permit? Tell the other side. Is there an issue with the title report? Tell the other side. These types of issues are extremely common. Most of the pain only arises when the other party finds out at the 11th hour.

Negotiate in good faith: Did you buy a fixer-upper and you are planning to gut the kitchen? Then don’t demand the dishwasher be replaced after the final walkthrough. Don’t nickel and dime on the inspection. And don’t promise a closing a date you know you can’t meet.

Do a Proper-Handoff: A seller has generally lived in a home for a significant period of time. It’s nice to write a “manual” or a short instruction list on the intricacies of the house. How do you shut off the water main? Who does the alarm monitoring? Who cleans out the gutters? What time does the UPS guy come?

Do the little things: I’ve seen some sellers do amazingly gracious things, some of which I now tell my sellers to emulate. For example, I always tell my sellers doing an inspection to leave a hot pot of coffee and some mugs. I recently had a buyer with young children purchase a home from a seller who’s children grew up in the house and recently graduated from High School. She left a small library with 50 children’s books. How amazing is that?!?!? The little things go a long way…

And finally….treat yourself right. It’s 2018 and the traditional realtor is a dinosaur. Use a firm like NestEdge Realty who can share commissions with home buyers via tax-free broker commission rebate. That’s right, buy a house in Westchester….and get change back!!!