Receiving your first offer is one of the most exciting parts of selling your home. And while it might seem like the hard work is finally over, the negotiation process is actually just getting started.
Even in a seller’s market, negotiating with a buyer, or multiple buyers, can require quite a bit of time, skill, and guidance from your agent. However, with the right strategies, you can remain in the driver’s seat and maximize your profits.
Here’s How to Negotiate with Potential Buyers
When buyers submit an offer, they’re trying to get the best possible price, secure specific contingencies and financing, and close on their ideal timeline. As a seller, you’ll want to take their needs into consideration—but that doesn’t mean you have to give in to every concession.
Ready to hone your negotiation skills? Here are four easy tips to help you leverage a deal that gets you the price you want while keeping your buyer happy.
Review every offer with your agent
Even if you have some home selling experience, it can be hard to decipher all the elements of an offer. Most offers are just a small part of a purchase and sale agreement, which includes everything from price to contingencies to deadlines, so it’s important to review every detail with your agent.
While it might be tempting to decline any offers below your asking price, you still want to consider the bigger picture. It may be worth sacrificing some equity for fewer contingencies or a cash deal. Your agent can guide you through the pros and cons of each offer, as well as answer any questions.
Don’t compromise on your must-haves
Fortunately, low inventory and rising prices have given sellers a distinct advantage in today’s market. That means you probably won’t have to give up a lot of your must-haves—like a certain price or closing date—to secure your sale.
While it’s okay to drive a hard bargain, you don’t want to appear unreasonable to buyers. In some situations, it’s common courtesy to agree to certain contingencies (such as a home inspection), offer credits for repairs, or even pay a portion of their closing costs.
Make a clear counteroffer
If you receive an offer that isn’t quite what you want, you have a few options. Most sellers choose to respond with a counteroffer, which proposes modified terms that are more beneficial to them.
The biggest factor to consider is price—if a buyer offers less than you’re willing to accept, try countering with a more realistic number. However, you’ll also want to take financing, contingencies, and timing into account. For example, you may want to ask a buyer for a different closing date or say no to excessive contingencies, as they can slow down the transaction. Ultimately, the ball is in your court, so it’s worth weighing different options with your agent.
Don’t be afraid to say no
Generally, you should always submit a counteroffer to every reasonable offer. However, if it becomes clear that a buyer isn’t willing to budge on your deal-breakers, don’t be afraid to say no. It’s also best to automatically decline any lowball offers that are around 30% less than your list price.
While it may seem counterintuitive to turn down an offer, it’s not worth negotiating with someone who isn’t serious about your home. And because the market is extremely competitive right now, it probably won’t take long to find a buyer who’s willing to pay the right price.
Thinking of Selling Your Home Soon?
A good agent looking out for your best interests will communicate with the buyer’s agents. After reviewing each offer, follow up with the buyer’s agents to clarify any unaddressed issues in the contract, verify loan approval or proof of funds when they are paying cash, and just touch base with the agent. Additional information can be very helpful to know which offer will most closely meet the needs of the seller.
If you’re looking for the right agent to guide you through the negotiation process in Oregon, we’d love to lend a helping hand! Get in touch with us today to learn the ins and outs of selling your home—we’re always on hand to answer any questions you might have.
In 1997, I started my real estate career. It was years later, about 2005 when I noticed I was selling a fair amount of acreage and horse property. Being a horse person, I knew a lot of other horse people. It was fun to sell country property, and thought it would be great to create a purposeful website for acreage and horse property in Oregon. In 2008 I came across a program that was designed to help real estate agents build a niche website, which took about a year of research, planning, and design. Then, in 2010 we launched the site, promoting it at the NW Equine Expo. Since then, the business has steadily grown. You can read what some of our clients have to say.