Top 7 Negotiation Tips for Selling Real Estate
Don’t let the stress of selling your home stop you from negotiating like a pro. Use these seven tactics to sell your home for the highest price possible.
1. Let Your Agent Negotiate for You
Don’t negotiate directly with the buyer or the buyer’s agent. Conduct all negotiations through your agent.
It doesn’t matter how good of a negotiator you are in day-to-day life. Real estate deals require specialized knowledge of your local regulations and the current market conditions.
That doesn’t mean relinquishing control, however. You can – and should – be involved behind the scenes in every aspect of the negotiations.
2. Check Your Emotions at the Door
No matter how much your home means to you, remind yourself that this is strictly a financial transaction.
Regrettably, some interested buyers may make disparaging comments about a property in a clumsy attempt to secure a lower price. If that happens, don’t lose your temper. Stay detached and focus on the numbers.
3. Don’t Mention Deadlines
If you must sell your house by a certain date because of a new job, family obligation, financial difficulties, or any other reason, don’t tell the buyer.
If a buyer asks why you’re selling your home, offer up a noncommittal answer, such as, “It’s just time.”
If buyers suspect you’re under pressure to sell quickly, they will often make a lower offer.
4. Never Take the First Offer
Except in rare circumstances, you shouldn’t take the first offer that comes along.
Depending on how strong your position is, you can either make a counteroffer, or simply reject the buyer’s offer and ask them to submit a new one.
Buyers expect to go back and forth the negotiations. Their initial bid is rarely their highest, so it pays to ask for more.
5. Stick to Your Price
The moment a potential buyer makes an offer, most sellers are tempted to immediately drop the asking price. But if you believe your home is priced fairly for the current market, you can always make a counteroffer at your original list price.
If the buyer is interested enough in your home, they will respond, potentially with a higher offer.
6. Protect Against Unwelcome Surprises
Before you even consider negotiating with a buyer, make sure that they actually have sufficient financing in place. Ask for a copy of their pre-approval letter or a financial statement for cash buyers.
7. Focus on Profit, Not Price
Even if the buyer refuses to budge on the price, you may be able to increase your total profit by negotiating on repairs, closing costs, and other items.
Remember that everything is negotiable. As the seller, what ultimately matters to you isn’t the selling price but the actual profit from the sale. Stay focused on your profit, and you will negotiate the successful sale of your home.