Your home is easily the highest-priced sale or purchase you will ever make. One area of the home buying and selling process that can be stressful is the negotiation process. As a home buyer, you want to get the best deal on the home you’re interested in and, as a home seller, you want top dollar for your home. That’s why many buyers and sellers work with real estate experts who have experience with the best real estate negotiation tactics. Knowing these simple but direct Realtor negotiation tactics can help you better understand how a final sale price is met between a buyer’s and seller’s agent when selling your home
10 Realtor Negotiation Tactics to Know as a Home Seller
1. Getting All The Information
One of the strongest Realtor negotiation tactics to know as a home seller is that is that knowledge is power. The more information your Realtor has, the better their negotiating platform will be. This includes a wide variety of information from your home features and amenities, your neighborhood and its future, the market in general, and your prospective buyers’ situations and needs.
Buyer’s Agent: A home next door just sold for the price we offered, so we feel like this is fair.
Seller’s Agent: I understand, but there’s quite a few differences between each home’s features and updates in this area. The home is priced with those new features in mind, as well as the area.
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2. Finding Buyers’ Price Ceilings
Buyers and sellers look at price differently. For buyers, any increases or decreases in price are spread across a 30-year mortgage or longer, and monthly payments may only change by a few dollars. The more significant number is a price ceiling; buyers know they are approved for a certain mortgage amount, or they know what their budget will bear.
Buyers generally have a hard price ceiling from their bank, and a soft price ceiling that they’re personally comfortable with. Realtors consider the language and arguments a buyer’s agent uses to determine if they are negotiating at their client’s hard or soft price limit. This real estate negotiation tactic becomes particularly important when both parties are close to agreement, but not quite there yet. If your Realtor knows where the buyers’ true price ceiling is, they’ll know how to close the deal without lowering the price.
Buyer’s Agent #1: This isn’t quite the area my buyer was looking for, but they like the home. If you could come down to $240,000, it’s a deal.
Seller’s Agent: We’ve priced the home carefully and, with the new kitchen and other updates, we really feel $250,000 is fair.
Buyer’s Agent #2: My buyer likes the home, but $250,000 really is their limit. If the price were $240,000, they’d have some room at closing.
Seller’s Agent: I see. What if we could negotiate the closing costs?
3. Changing The Scope
If real estate negotiation tactics are focused completely on price, they don’t leave much room to negotiate. Your Realtor may change the scope of the negotiation—that is, adding other factors that interest the buyers—to help everyone feel like they’ve won. These other factors might focus on time, energy, or uncertainty around the deal.
Time: Buyers may need to delay or speed up a home sale for many reasons. As a seller, tell your Realtor if this is an area that you can be flexible.
Energy: Moving is stressful and any way you can make this easier can go a long way. Your Realtor may ask if you can make some repairs buyers have requested, or include appliances or other items they’re missing.
Uncertainty: As a seller, you can either eliminate uncertainty from your side by saying a certain price will eliminate competition, or you can accept uncertainty from the buyers by accepting a contingency offer at a certain amount.
Buyer’s Agent: My buyer likes that the home is close to their new job, but $250,000 is more than they had in mind.
Seller’s Agent: Well, if you’d be willing to meet our price, we may be able to adjust the closing date to coordinate with your move.
4. Good Listening
Real estate negotiation tactics for home sellers, as in all negotiations, are about finding common ground. This is much easier to do when both the buyer’s and seller’s agents listen to their clients and can communicate on behalf of both of their needs.
In order for your Realtor to acknowledge buyers requests and show that they are listening, they may consult with you about negotiation points you weren’t expecting. Giving your Realtor additional details about your home will help quell a buyer’s concerns and show that they’re being considered.
Buyer’s Agent: We like the home, but we’re concerned about the older roof. Would the sellers come down to $230,000 to factor in the cost of a new roof?
Seller’s Agent: I don’t think we can adjust the price on that point, but I asked the homeowners about the roof and they have said there have never been any problems.
5. Knowing Limits in Advance
Not all real estate negotiation tactics are about the other party; many are about understanding the seller’s wants and needs first. While negotiating requires some give and take between both parties, it’s important to know where your limits are.
You should know and tell your real estate agent what price you’re comfortable with, as well as other concessions you will or won’t make, such as repairs or closing costs, and what you’ll need in return to make concessions. Knowing this beforehand will reduce the pressure you may feel during the negotiation, and it will take out any surprises that could throw you off. This will also make it easier for your real estate agent to accurately represent your interests.
Buyer’s Agent: I’d be willing to go above the price with $260,000 if the sellers would accept an offer contingent on selling our current home.
Seller’s Agent: We appreciate the offer, but the homeowners have previously mentioned that a contingency offer won’t work with their moving schedule.
6. Creating Competition
In a seller’s market, sellers’ generally receive more than one offer. A home with multiple offers alleviates pressure and gives the seller’s agent a good negotiating position. Your agent will help you generate competition among potential buyers by targeting the audience, setting the right price, and using modern staging and curb appeal.
Buyer’s Agent: $240,000 really is our final offer.
Seller’s Agent: I see. There has been some other interest, so I’m going to give the other buyers that information so they can decide as well.
7. Being Ready to Refuse
Refusing an offer that’s too low right from the start is easy, but walking away from a possible sale when buyers have asked for too many concessions can be harder. The longer you spend during a deal, the harder it is to walk away from. Buyer’s agents know this as well, and may use this real estate negotiation tactic to whittle the price down. Your Realtor will remind you that you can always walk away and there will be other buyers.
Buyer’s Agent: If you could just come down to $230,000 or fix the roof, we could close.
Seller’s Agent: I understand the roof is a concern, but we’ve already renegotiated closing costs and reduced the price after the inspection. We’ve done all we can, I’m afraid the sale won’t work for us at that price.
8. Detecting Opposing Tactics
Buyer’s agents will use their own Realtor negotiation tactics to try and get the best price for their clients. These can sometimes be difficult to detect, but experienced Realtors will know what to look for. Your real estate agent can tell you if the buyer’s agent is trying a tactic of their own, like a false price ceiling, or if it’s time to compromise.
Buyer’s Agent: We like the home, but we’re not prepared to go any higher. I guess this just isn’t the right one.
Seller’s Agent: We appreciate your interest, and we understand. If you change your mind, please contact me again. I can let you know if the home is still available.
9. Sharing the Right Details
Sellers are legally obligated to disclose problems with a property, and a thorough inspection will show any red flags anyway. Your Realtor can help you determine how best to disclose any issues, or any repairs that would significantly improve your ROI. This will ensure you don’t end up in legal hot water or invest in home updates that won’t improve the sale price.
There are other details, such as why you’re moving or if you’ve found another home, that are better not to share. Remember that buyers’ agents are also looking for information which may help them negotiate.
Buyer’s Agent: This is a beautiful home and a great area; why are the homeowners moving?
Seller’s Agent: They’re looking for something different at this point, but I’m sure your clients will enjoy it as much as they have. If your clients would like to make an offer at any point, feel free to give me a call.
10. Understanding Timing
Buyers who need to move quickly or by a certain date may be willing to pay more, and they may ask their real estate agent to prioritize speed over price negotiations. Your Realtor will assess a buyer’s schedule if they can, and they may recommend accepting an offer from a buyer who wants to move quickly.
For the same reason, it’s important to give your Realtor enough time to sell as well. If your Realtor has time to let the deal simmer for a day or two before giving a counter offer, the offer is more likely to be accepted.
Buyer’s Agent: $250,000 is a bit high, our offer is $230,000. What do you think?
Seller’s Agent: Thank you for your offer. I’ll discuss this with the homeowners and we will get back to you in a couple days.
There is no magic word that will ensure you get the right price for your home, but working with real estate experts and understanding these real estate negotiation tactics can help. If you’re getting ready for your home sale, start by choosing an experienced agent and getting all the information you can about your home.
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