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If you’re looking to sell your house then you might be asking yourself now, how do I negotiate a home sale? This is a tough question to answer because there are so many factors that go into negotiating the sale of your home.

Jumping into the process unprepared could result in losing out on thousands of dollars so let’s start at the beginning and outline what you can expect when you’re negotiating. Negotiating starts when you find the right agent to represent you in a home sale.

According to John Wenner, a professional negotiator and co-founder of the Real Estate Negotiating Institute, “Negotiation is the key skill necessary for agents to help achieve their client’s goals.” John Wenner trains hundreds of agents in negotiation tactics and strategies and was recognized by the Real Estate Educator’s association with a DREI credential (Distinguished Real Estate Instructor).

You need to find a great agent

In order to get top dollar for your home, you need an agent who is a great negotiator to help you get it. Choosing the wrong selling agent for your home could cost you thousands so take the time before you sell your house to find the right one. A great place to start is reading up on how to choose a listing agent without driving yourself crazy.

Wenner says these 3 questions are vital to ask when interviewing agents:

  1. What negotiating tools do you have available to help me accomplish my goal of selling my property?
  2. What is your plan for negotiating the sale of my home?
  3. What kinds of professional negotiating training have you obtained?

Negotiate Compensation – There is no set commission that agents are paid so remember you will need to negotiate this price before you can move onto selling your home. While we all like good deals and the appearance of savings, beware of agents who offer to sell your home for a low commission. There’s a reason they make less – they’re under-qualified or don’t plan to give your home sale the time it needs in order to reap big benefits. An agent who will get you top dollar is one that will cost a bit more.

Buyers will offer a price lower than your listing price

This is just a fact. Buyers are interested in getting a good deal on their next home and so they will offer a price that is at least a little lower than your listing price. Don’t be offended by a price that is way below what you expected, counter back.

Ask for more than you expect to get

This balances out the fact that your buyers will be asking for a lower price. Not only does a higher price give you more negotiation room, but it also opens up the possibility of getting that higher price.

There are hundreds of negotiations that are a part of a home sale. Here is a list of the major points you will be negotiating in your home sale:

  • Price – Negotiating the initial price of the home is just the tip of the iceberg. Once that’s over, the bulk of your back and forth with your buyers begins.
  • Timeline or length of escrow – The buyers will want to take their time and prefer a longer escrow.
  • Inspections – Buyers will want to have an inspection done before closing. An inspection is standard in all home sales today.
  • Home Warranty – The home warranty can be paid for by seller or buyer. Some sellers will pay for the home warranty in order to preempt any problems which may arise post-closing.
  • Closing Costs – These costs can be paid by either party but in a seller’s market, you’re safe in asking the buyers to pay these.
  • Repairs – Based on the home inspection the buyers will come up with a list of repairs. What it comes down to is you will have the option of fixing these problems for the buyers or they will ask for a price reduction because of them.

If you’re thinking of selling your home and need some guidance through the rough negotiating waters, contact a local First Team expert.