You may already know how to negotiate a lower sale price for a home if you're the buyer, but what if you're the seller? From either side of the closing table, maintaining leverage when it comes to negotiation is key. You don't want to give a potential buyer too many perks, but you also don't want to alienate good offers with strict terms.
Of course, if you're in a seller's market, you don't have as much to worry about. With few properties on the market and high demand in place, your offers are likely to be larger as interested buyers fight to outbid each other. However, if you're selling in a buyer's market or during the winter housing market slump, you have to do your best to convince potential buyers that your home is the one they want and is worth spending a little extra.
Here are some tips for negotiating with buyers:
Work with a real estate agent
Throughout the home selling and buying processes, getting professional help is the best option. From the home inspection to staging your property for an open house, letting the experts take over is always a good idea.
In regard to negotiating the sale price of your home, real estate agents are your go-to professionals. Not only are they skilled in getting potential buyers to meet your terms, but they are also knowledgeable of current market trends and the sale prices of comparable properties in the area. While you may have an idea of what your home is worth, having an agent give you the appropriate figure goes a long way toward convincing interested individuals to meet the asking price. They'll also factor in price appreciation to ensure that you sell the home for its value at the time of closing.
Find the right agent before you list the home so that he or she can be with you throughout the entire process.
After watching your children grow in your home or sharing other memories with your family, it can be hard to emotionally let go of the house. Keep in mind that interactions with interested buyers are business transactions and the property is an asset that you need to sell. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you can have trouble maintaining leverage.
Expect lowball offers
Whether you enlist the help of an agent or work alone, don't be taken aback by offers that come in below your asking price. Most home shoppers will first try to get the property for less than you request, as they are searching for a good deal. This can be especially true if you're speaking to a real estate agent on behalf of a potential buyer.
Keep in mind that these offers are typically not a reflection of what they think of your property. If you turn them down, serious buyers will up the ante.
Keep contact with interested buyers
If you're seeing few home shoppers, you'll want to work harder with the few offers you receive. However, this does not mean that you have to accept an unsatisfactory offer.
Be prepared to put a counteroffer on the table. Instead of conceding on the asking price, propose another concession, such as paying for the property inspection. Remember that you can't give up on potential buyers. Persistence is key for letting them know that you want to sell them the house.
Confirm buyer financing
Once you've accepted an offer, check that the buyer has obtained financing either in the form of a mortgage preapproval or cash. If the he or she cannot provide this verification, consider other offers.