Selling a House – Successful Negotiations

In my continuing series of blog posts centered around tips for selling a home,we continue today with some strategies to think about when it comes time to contract negotiations. Now that you have prepped and primped your home to be shown in optimum physical and decorative condition, added a yard sign that proudly states “look at me” you have unlimited visibility on the internet, and cars are beginning to slowly pass your property. While going to sleep with thoughts of a great offer coming in provide the stuff for pleasant dreams in reality all you keep hearing is neighborhood buzz about interested buyers who stop their cars and pull out a marketing flyer from your yard sign. Then you get the call from your agent, who has just gotten off the phone with a prospective buyers agent, you learn that they are thinking about making an offer! You may find yourself excited, anxious, even euphoric. The subsequent series of events surrounding contract negotiation is where the real excitement begins and your agent leaps into action!

Here are some empowering strategies to consider as a seller during the negotiation phase.

Neighborhood talk is cheap. It is important to remember until an offer is in writing you don’t have an offer at all. While an call from another agent is a sound indicator of a potential buyers desire to step into the ring, verbal offers at best are an guideline of what a buyer may be willing to entertain as a starting point. A seasoned agent and most real estate regulations will require that a bona fide offer be in writing. In other words the buyers agent needs to get the buyer to walk the talk.

Consult with your listing agent. Selling your home and negotiating with buyers is something you do once every 5 or 10 years. On the other hand your agent is skilled at negotiating the sale of property on a daily basis. Sit down with your agent and collaborate on a joint strategy to get a fair price for your home. It’s important to contribute but even more important to listen. Your agent will be partnering with you to engineer the best outcome.

Put everything on the table. The skillful art of negotiation is much more than an agreed upon contract price. What will the buyer put down on the property? When are they desiring to close and how does that benefit you or them? What kind of personal property is to remain on the property or be subject to further negotiations? Your agent can can further investigate and help develop a detailed profile of the prospective buyer identifying their needs and wants to ensure there is a good match with yours. Remember that gaps in pricing can be compensated by other factors that can be advantageous. Seek win win solutions.

Be wary of shutting the door on early offers. One of the more common regrets of a seller is not engaging an good offer submitted very soon after the property is placed on the market. Sellers often have high expectations in the first weeks of marketing time. It’s important to remember that buyers have a “seasoning curve and at some point on that curve they may have seen enough variety in their price range to know what they need, where they want to live and what they are willing to initially offer. Receiving a good offer that has room for negotiations early in the game is a problem many sellers wish they had.

A sale that didn’t move forward is not a sale. Sellers often experience the heart wrenching disappointment of losing a sale due to inspection issues, financing or buyer home sale contingency. Should this happen plan to move on and not let the terms of one offer be the benchmark for subsequent offers. Many sellers will cling to a previous offer price believing it will be duplicated, however this will not always prove to be true. Have a discussion with your agent and be open minded to the uniqueness of each subsequent offer. Remember you are not selling a product with a manufacturer’s suggested list price, but rather a unique property where give and take are part and parcel of the process.

Coldwell Banker Encinitas Realtor Linda Moore has developed a solid reputation as an expert negotiator and facilitator. Masterfully blending the art and science of skillful negotiation gives her a proven edge when working with home sellers. Linda employs a consultative approach, collaborating and partnering with her clients to ensure a successful home sale experience.

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