When you’re selling a home, determining a price is often mixed with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Once you finalize a number, chances are that any potential buyer is going to come in with a lower number to start a negotiation process. Don’t be afraid of the bargaining process and know that your REALTOR® will guide you through it all.
The art of negotiation is about knowing a buyer’s motivations and your own, and coming to an agreement that works for both sides. Naturally, you want to agree on a price swiftly, but you also don’t want to jump into any rash decisions or accept a low-ball offer you may later regret. That’s where your agent comes in—a REALTOR® will come up with a strategy for a counter offer if the price is not to your liking.
For instance, if an initial bid comes in and it’s much lower than you wanted, even if your heart is racing because you don’t want to lose the sale, don’t just give in. Negotiate. It’s not uncommon to be scared; especially if the home has been on the market for a while and you finally have a bite.
While you may be tempted to give in to any demands of the buyer, an experienced agent will be there to calm your fears and lead you to a fair number.
One thing is for sure, don’t take a low-ball offer personally and refuse to counter. Everyone negotiates and it’s just part of the process. When you first set your price, you should be expecting lower offers and having a plan for negotiating up. Be ready with a list that explains why the price is valued as it is and don’t be offended by a buyer’s list of things that devalue the home.
Sometimes negotiating power comes not from the price itself, but the other terms of the contract. Think about your preferred closing date, who is paying the closing costs and items that the buyer might want left behind (which often are things you wanted to leave anyway). If you can bargain in all the terms you want, maybe accepting a lower price isn’t the worst thing.
An important part of all this is not to respond verbally to an offer or counteroffer. All negotiating should be done in writing and all responses should be in writing. This keeps any “misunderstandings” from happening that could potentially kill the sale.
Finally, don’t be afraid to say “no” and walk away. It may be frustrating, but another buyer will come along at the price you are looking for if you’re priced correctly.