5 Negotiating Strategies When Selling Your Home

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5 Negotiating Strategies When Selling Your Home

The price you agree on with a buyer and the real estate fees you pay will decide how much money you walk away with when selling your house, which is probably one of the largest financial transactions you’ll make in your lifetime. These bargaining techniques might give you the upper hand and enable you to get the best possible price in any market.

Key Takeaways

  • One hardball tactic is sticking to your list price in your first counteroffer or even rejecting an offer without making a counteroffer.
  • You should only accept proposals after an open house in order to promote a feeling of competitiveness.
  • Set an expiry date on your counteroffer to compel a prompt response.
  • We will raise the buying price if you agree to cover the closing charges.

Try These Negotiating Strategies When Selling Your Home

1. Counter at Your List Price

If an initial offer for your house is less than what you are asking for it, you as the seller generally won’t want to accept it. The first offer made by buyers is often less than your list price, but it may also be less than what they are truly ready to pay since they typically anticipate a back-and-forth negotiation.

Because they are worried about losing the prospective sale at this stage, the majority of sellers will submit a counteroffer with a price that is higher but still below their list price. To complete the transaction, they want to seem open to compromise and adaptable. As many of sellers will confirm, this tactic does certainly work to sell the home, but it’s not always the greatest approach to obtain top pay.

Counter by maintaining your quoted purchase price rather than lowering it. Real buyers will keep the conversation going and eventually make you a greater offer. If you’ve priced your property fairly from the start, countering at your list price shows that you are aware of its value and that you plan to collect the compensation you are due.

Your refusal to compromise may surprise buyers, and some may be put off by it. When you use this tactic, there is a chance that a customer may back out. You’ll also save time by not dealing with purchasers that make lowball bids and won’t sign a contract until they can get a good deal.

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Countering slightly below your list price, surrendering maybe $1,000, is an alternative to countering at your list price. When you want to be harsh but are concerned that coming off as too rigid would turn away customers, use this strategy.

2. Reject the Offer

You may use a bargaining strategy that is more radical than replying at your list price if you’re brave enough: Reject the buyer’s offer, but make no attempt to counter. You then invite them to submit a fresh offer to keep them in the game. If you haven’t turned them off and they are really interested, they will.

This tactic conveys more strongly that you are confident in the value of your home and your asking price. Unless the buyer decides to play hardball back and submit the same or even a lower offer, they will have to make a higher offer if they resubmit.

When you don’t respond, you aren’t morally obligated to continue the discussion with that specific buyer and are free to accept a greater offer if one comes along. The buyer is under pressure to submit a more competitive offer right away if they really want the property since they are aware that someone else may make a better offer at any time. If the home has just recently been listed for sale or if you are about to have an open house, this tactic may be very helpful.

3. Try to Create a Bidding War

Speaking about open houses, include them into your procedure. Plan an open house for a few days after placing the property on the market and making it accessible for viewings. Keep any bids off the table until after the open house.

As a consequence of anticipating competition, prospective buyers could make greater bids. If you get many bids, you may return to the leading bidders and request their highest and best offer. The open house may, of course, result in only one offer, but the party making it won’t be aware of that, giving you a psychological advantage as you go ahead with counteroffers, etc.

While receiving numerous offers from different purchasers at the same time is feasible, it is unethical to accept a higher offer from a different bidder while in talks with any other buyer.

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4. Put an Expiration Date on Your Counteroffer

Let’s say a buyer files an offer, and you challenge it because you don’t want to accept it. You will then engage in negotiations with that party, and although it is not against the law, it is typically seen to be immoral to accept a higher offer from another bidder if one should present itself.

As mentioned above, it is possible to engage in different discussions with several purchasers at once. The decision to provide or withhold this information from potential purchasers is up to the seller. Greater offers may follow from disclosure, but a buyer may get scared off by it. The seller may legitimately reject more than one offer at once, but only after properly notifying the other parties and include the necessary wording.

Consider giving your counteroffers a deadline if you want to sell your house fast. This tactic forces the buyer to choose, giving you the option of either putting your house under contract or finding another buyer. Though you shouldn’t make the deadline any shorter than what is provided by default in your state’s standard real estate contract, you may want to think about doing so. You might reduce the default expiry from three days to one or two days.

In addition to concluding the purchase swiftly, there’s another incentive to pressure sellers to make a rapid choice. While the counteroffer is outstanding, your house is virtually off the market. Many buyers won’t make an offer while another negotiation is ongoing. And if the offer falls through, you’ve added time to the official number of days your property has been on the market. The more days your property is on the market, the less attractive it seems, and the more likely you are to have to decrease your asking price to obtain a buyer.

5. Agree to Pay Closing Costs

It seems like it’s become standard practice for buyers to ask the seller to pay their closing costs. These costs can amount to about 3% of the purchase price and cover what seem to be a lot of frivolous fees. Buyers are often feeling cash-strapped from the down payment, moving expenses, the prospect of redecorating costs—and maybe even from paying the closing costs on the home they sold. Some buyers can’t afford to close the deal at all without assistance for closing costs.

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While many buyers don’t have or don’t want to spend extra cash up front to get into the home, they can often afford to borrow a little bit more. If you give them the cash they want for closing costs, the transaction may be more likely to proceed.

When a buyer submits an offer and asks you to pay theclosing costs, counter with your willingness to pay but at an increased purchase price, even if it means going above your list price. Buyers sometimes don’t realize that when they ask the seller to pay their closing costs, they’re effectively lowering the home’s sale price. As the seller, of course, you’ll see the bottom line very clearly.

You can increase your asking price by enough to still get as high as your list price after paying the buyer’s closing costs. If your list price is $200,000, and the buyer offers $190,000 with $6,000 toward closing, you would counter with something between $196,000 and $206,000, with $6,000 for closing costs. A catch is that the price plus closing costs must be supported when the home is appraised; otherwise, you’ll have to lower it later to close the deal, because the buyer’s lender won’t approve an overpriced sale.

The Bottom Line

The key to executing these negotiating strategies successfully is that you have to be offering a superior product. The home needs to show well, be in excellent condition, and have something that competing properties do not if you want to have the upper hand in negotiations. If buyers aren’t excited about the property you’re offering, your hardball tactics won’t cause them to up their game. They’ll just walk away.

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