real estate

7 ways homebuyers overpay

'Shifting the goalpost' sale
Shifting the goalpost sale © nik7ch/

A deal is supposed to be a deal. But in hypercompetitive markets, sometimes sellers renege after accepting an offer, only to jack up the price. The phenomenon is common enough to have a name: the shift-the-goalpost sale. Unfortunately, says Jennifer Chiongbian of Rutenberg Realty in New York, "some buyers do fall for it."

Sometimes, according to Chiongbian, buyers put up with sellers reneging on offers because they fear losing out on the property or just don't want to go through another round of searching. But, Chiongbian, says, buyers can end up paying tens of thousands of dollars more when they continue negotiating with sellers who reneged on accepted offers.

What's a buyer to do? Taking legal action likely just means more money spent on lawyers. Instead, says Chiongbian, "buyers need to either take a firm stand and say no, or risk losing the property."


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