The first step in this negotiation strategy begins before you even list your home. When you first contact a real estate agent, it’s important to work with someone who is willing to commit the time and resources necessary to give your home the attention it needs. A big consideration when talking with your agent will be getting an understanding of market conditions and coming up with a realistic list price. While “testing the market” with a purposely over inflated price might be appealing, it can easily become a major detractor for potential buyers- meaning your home sits on the market without buyer interest. It’s important to remember that most buyers come to the market with a real estate agent who is advocating for their best interests. That agent is going to show the buyers comparables in the community – similar homes that have sold in the past six months. When listing a home, accurate pricing is key to a successful sale. The longer a home is listed, the more likely you are to receive lowball offers. Starting with an accurate initial price will help show buyers you’re serious, and that you expect them to come to the table with the same down-to-business attitude.
Once you begin to receive offers, it’s up to you to carefully consider all reasonable offers. Never assume a buyer isn’t serious just because an offer is lower than you’re willing to accept. By making a reasonable counter offer, you are opening a line of communication with a buyer who may be willing to negotiate closer to the price you had in mind. This is part of why starting at an accurate list price is so important: having a little wiggle room helps you realistically negotiate with buyers who are also looking to get the best deal they can. A full-price counter is one common strategy that can help buyers rethink their initial offer. Negotiation in a real estate transaction should be expected -- it is a normal part of selling a home.
Price is far from the only aspect of an offer to consider. While you may be firm on price, being flexible regarding other terms of the offer can help open up interest from other buyers. For example, some buyers may need extra time to close on their current property and begin the packing and moving process. Others may be interested in some furniture in your home, such as shelves in a garage or a patio set. Win-win situations do not have to involve compromising on price, especially if you’re willing to be flexible.
Not all negotiations will play out the same, and that’s why experience is so important in real estate. For first time sellers, it’s important to remain reasonable and flexible while you work closely with a trusted agent to get the best experience- and top dollar for your home. Serious, motivated buyers are out there- regardless of interest rate fluctuations – and preparing your home with a proven marketing strategy will attract buyers to your home. An experienced agent will not only look out for your best interests at all times, but they will also position the property in the best way to capture the interest of those buyers.