Every home seller wants to get as much as possible for their property. However, there are times where you need to pick and choose your battles. You can have a willing buyer, but if you overplay your hand during negotiation they will quickly walk away and find something else. On the flip side, you can’t simply accept the first offer that comes your way and be done with it. There is an art to negotiation that if done right can help yield maximum return for your property. Even though your real estate agent should do the negotiating, as the seller you have the final say on how the process goes. Here are four tips to help you successfully negotiate your home sale
Know True Value.Most sellers think their home is the best one on the market, even if it’s not. They refer to outdated sales and irrelevant data to support their argument. When a below list price offer comes in, they feel insulted and don’t know how to react. The first thing you need to do is accept the true value of your home. The best real estate agents are the ones that will give you the hard truth, however difficult it can be to accept. They will tell you all the deficiencies of your home that you may have turned a blind eye to over the years. Whether you want to hear it or not, these are the items buyers and buyers’ agents will use to poke holes at your value. By knowing all the blemishes with your home and the costs associated you will have a true value in mind that is helpful during negotiation.
Set a Minimum Sales Price.The only real way to tell the true value of your home is to put it on the market. Things may look great on paper but until they are tested in the market, they don’t mean much. Before offers start coming in you need to have a minimum walk away price in mind. Whatever this number is it will be the floor at which you will accept an offer. By discussing this with your real estate agent it will be helpful down the road during negotiation. For some sellers the floor is the asking price, while other sellers build some negotiation into their listing price. Ideally you won’t be anywhere near the floor but setting this number will help you temper your expectations.
Let Agent Do Their Job.You and your real estate agent should be on the same page before you sign a listing agreement. If your thoughts on the property differ dramatically, you will struggle throughout the listing. Once you commit to an agreement you need to let them do their job. Of course, you can always have input but for the most part you should step back and let them drive the process. Listen to their suggestions on the list price, marketing, staging and open house. They are the expert in the field who knows what they are doing and has your best interests in mind.
Don’t Take Offers Personally.Think about how you acted when you purchased the home, however many years ago. You probably fought tooth and nail to get the best possible deal. A buyer is simply doing the same thing. You can’t take any offer personally; however bad it may be. Instead of getting insulted and not countering you should view an offer as the start of negotiation. Even if your counter is just a sliver off the list price, it is something that gets you closer to a sale. A buyer may make ridiculous demands on their first offer, just to see what they can get away with. If you don’t like it, you can simply say no and counter their offer. Some of the most lopsided first offers end up closing with a little negotiation.
In a perfect world you would get three full priced offers the first weekend your home hits the market. Obviously, this is more of the exception rather than the norm. In most cases, your real estate agent will fight tooth and nail negotiating to get you the best possible deal.