Negotiating is a difficult skill to master. With so many different strategies, pitfalls, and difficulties to deal with, it’s hard to know where to start. So when you’re trying to negotiate the sale of your home which is your most valuable asset, the stakes get even higher. When you sell your home you want a good price, you have a strict timeline and tons of other goals that need to be accomplished for the process to go smoothly.
John Wenner, a professional Real Estate negotiation trainer for the Real Estate Negotiation Institute says, “Negotiation is the key skill necessary to help achieve a seller’s goals. Which means one of the biggest things agents need to show is their ability to negotiate on their client’s behalf.” So in order to help you negotiate during your home sale and ensure you’ve got a great agent to help you, we’ve put together these 7 tips to keep your home sale on track and get you what you want.
1. Know Market Trends.
When it comes to selling your home, it’s important to know what kind of market you’re up against (buyer or seller driven), recently sold prices in your neighborhood and more. The only way to price your home appropriately and understand the extent of your negotiating power is to keep up to date on the specifics of the local real estate market. Getting the most money for your home requires knowing what the current market standard on homes.
Listening is a critical skill in negotiating according to Wenner. The only way to get what you want and close a great deal is to listen to the other side and form a solid strategy. Truly listening and understanding a buyer for your home will give you the upper hand because you can anticipate the other side.
3. Keep your cool.
Selling your home is emotional but in order to be a smart negotiator, you need to keep your emotions in check. Don’t let things get personal because that won’t get you what you want. The easiest way to keep your cool is to leave the negotiating to your agent. Choose a listing agent who’s experienced and you can trust so when it comes to negotiating for you, you’re confident in their skills. Keeping your cool also means keeping your cards close to your chest.
Revealing too much about your own situation could give the buyer’s an upper hand in negotiations. It’s also good to remain unbiased toward your buyer because if you form a bond with them, you may be persuaded to accept a lower offer than is fair. Or if you dislike them, you could let personality get in the way of a solid offer that would get you the most money for your home.
4. Don’t be offended by lowball offers.
Buyers want a good deal on a home, that’s just a fact. So when a buyer comes to the table with a lowball offer don’t just blow them off, engage them with a counter offer. The first offer is never the final number; it’s just the beginning of negotiations.
5. Let your agent do the negotiating.
Wenner says sellers often hire an agent to list their house, market the property and hold open houses to attract the buyer with the expectation of taking over themselves once the negotiating begins. However, negotiation is the key skill necessary for your agent to help you achieve your goal he says. Letting a trained professional take the lead on negotiating is smart and a great way to keep your cool (see #3).
6. Use a collaborative not competitive negotiation style.
A competitive negotiation style is what we instinctively think of, our engrained style of bargaining. It is focused on getting what you want and shutting down the competition for a win-lose scenario in which you are the sole winner. However, this type of negotiating isn’t practical says, Wenner. “Your agent should implement a collaborative negotiation style in which you match the goals of each side and work toward a win-win situation”. Find an agent who is experienced and works with a collaborative style that will not only fight for your desires in the negotiation process but be aware of the buyers’ as well so that the sale is amicable and beneficial for everyone involved.
7. Keep communicating.
It’s important to keep negotiating even if you don’t like the buyer’s counteroffer. Try to understand their viewpoint and keep at it, you can still work toward a win-win situation for everyone. If they counter for lower than you’d like, come back with another figure. If they insist on keeping the appliances, ask them to pay the closing costs. Remember that there are an infinite number of scenarios and points to negotiate on, so keep trying until you reach a happy medium. For more tips on negotiating, chat with a local First Team agent in your area.