Negotiate without blowing the sale

Posted by on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 at 11:18am.

Some home buyers can really rub you the wrong way!

In their efforts to get "a good deal" on a home, they can sometimes be so insulting that your first impulse is to shove them out your door without even attempting to negotiate. That might feel satisfying, but it won't get your home sold. So prepare yourself in advance.

Insulting buyer comments, and the reactions they can provoke, are the reason why I don't repeat everything buyers and their agents say to me when they're trying to justify why an offer is so low. Sometimes they go on and on until I'm tempted to say "If you hate this house so much, why are you making this offer?" If I told my sellers those remarks I'd stir up a lot of negative emotion, and there's really no room for emotion in negotiating the sale of a home.

Unfortunately, as a FSBO seller, you're the one subjected to the unfiltered comments, so you need to steel yourself, stay calm, and resist responding emotionally. Instead, focus on the details of the offer and which ones you can or cannot accept. Your aim should be to let the buyers feel like they've "won" something while you still get what you need. Yes, even if you don't like them much at that point, you want to give what you can.

After you've gone over the entire offer and done the math, you'll have a pretty clear idea of what each point will cost you, and how much you can afford or are willing to give. Hopefully you do have room to give something. If not price, then perhaps you can let them in early or leave the refrigerator you intended to take away.

If you are negotiating primarily on price, decide on your bottom line number and then make your counter-offer - going half way between what they offered and what you'll take. Give the most the first time you respond, and if you have to respond again, keep making the concessions smaller. You don't want to set them up to think that you'll suddenly cave in.

Resist the urge to negotiate verbally. Think over your responses and then put them in writing.  You need this for verification and the closing agent will need it when you finally come to agreement. If your buyers want to make a counter-offer to your counter-offer, impress upon them that it must be in writing.

If you've reached your bottom line, rather than making a statement that this is your final response, which can seem confrontational, just keep re-stating your price. If they can't or won't come up and you can't or won't come down, then there's no point in continuing the discussion.

Selling your home on your own is hard work and you will definitely have earned the money you saved by not listing with an agent. So don't let a buyer "talk you down" on the basis of the money you've saved.     

And of course, should you decide you don't want to go it alone, I'm here to help. I'd love to put my marketing skills to work for you...

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