This is the seventh article in my series called, Love Selling Your Home: Minimize Your Stress, Maximize Your Profit, a step-by-step guide to selling your home. My series takes you through the entire home-selling process — from finding a real estate agent to settlement day.
Selling a home is an emotional experience for many of us. Your home is a part of who you are and where you’ve been in your life. But, first and foremost, selling a home is actually a business transaction with a buyer.
You don’t want to get swayed by emotion and end up making negotiation mistakes that you’ll regret later in your final contract with the buyers. Remember, the outcome of this transaction can affect your next step as a homeowner.
But don’t forget that both you AND the buyer want to close the deal. That’s why you shouldn’t have a “winner take all” mindset but be willing to compromise when necessary while still looking out for your best interests.
Here are some smart tips for negotiating the sale of your home:
Determine the buyer’s motivation and timing.
Why does the buyer want to buy your home? Buyers can give clues to how long the process will take. They may have a home to sell, which can complicate and prolong the proceedings. However, some circumstance (moving from out of town for a job, a baby on the way) can actually hasten your dealings. Keep your ears and eyes open so you have a better sense of what your buyers want.
Keep the conversation going.
Sellers should always respond to an offer. By submitting a counter-offer, you can start a process in which you can see how high the buyer is willing to go. Remember, you want to keep the negotiation moving. The longer you stay in the negotiation, the more likely you’ll reach a satisfactory conclusion since all parties are invested in getting the deal done.
Also, if you have more than one offer, it’s usually best to disclose this information to all parties to maintain trust and to maximize your ability to obtain the best price.
Have a positive outlook on contingencies to get the deal done.
As a seller, it is best to appreciate a buyer’s willingness to do business even if they have a contingency. You can do your part to make the sale successful, but also assess the situation before you do proceed with them.
This is especially true if there are any repair issues that may arise after the inspection. Be willing to work with the buyers and come to a mutual agreement. They may want you to fix the items before the sale can be completed OR you to reduce the price so that they can hire their own contractors.
However, be careful that you don’t accept an offer that contains a high-risk contingency like waiting for the buyer to sell their existing home, a long option period, or a buyer without approved financing. You don’t want this to lead to a dead end.
Sweeten the deal if it gets you what you need or want in return.
As a seller, it’s not a bad idea to give a concession that can help seal the deal. It doesn’t have to be price, it can be financing or something on the property the buyer may want. Making a concession keeps the negotiation process moving and shows you want to work with the buyers in some way. Remember, you want to move out of this house and not be stuck!
Stay tuned for next week’s What’s an Appraisal and Why Does It Matter? You’ll learn more about this critical step when you have a home under contract. It’s sometimes a nail-biting experience since you don’t want the appraised value of your home to come in below the asking price. I hope you keep enjoying my Love Selling Your Home series!