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5 Powerful Negotiation Tips for sellers

Every seller has the power to influence their selling price

The way they present and market their home, their pricing strategy and the agent they choose are all factors that will determine the final price.

Let’s take a look at what happens after a good buyer has inspected and the offers start flying.

So you've gone to some trouble to make your place look great.

Your agent has written some killer copy.

Cars drive ever so slowly past your For Sale sign and buyer are flocking to your opens. Then, you get the call from your agent.

You have an offer! Will you be excited, disappointed, angry or euphoric?

An offer and subsequent negotiation is where the real action starts and where your agent will earn their fee.

It's a time for rational thought, consultation and action where required.


Here are 5 Powerful Negotiation Tips and Strategies every seller will want to consider


1.       Talk is cheap

It's important to remember that until you have a written offer, it's only talk. Different countries, states and provinces have different rules but they all have a procedure which requires a buyer to commit to an offer in writing or by signing some form of agreement with a financial deposit. A verbal offer is, at best, a guiding 'indication' of what your buyer may pay, and will hopefully lead to a price you will be happy with, but it's not a binding contract. If you are looking for certainty as a seller, ask to see a written offer. In other words, the agent needs to ask the buyer to put his money where his mouth is.


2.      Consult with your agent

Your selling agent is working for you. If you are successful in finding a buyer and negotiating a contract, your agent will be charging you a fee. I believe the better part of this fee is for guidance and care through the negotiation process. Selling a property and negotiating with buyers is something a seller may only do once every five or ten years. On the other hand, your agent is negotiating the sale of property all the time. Good agents are skilled negotiators. Get the best value from your fee and sit down with your agent to understand your joint strategy. It’s a collaborative effort. Your agent will be working with you to engineer the best outcome for you, the client.


3.    Is everything on the table?

Negotiation is often more than just about the money. What is the deposit? When can the buyer close or settle? What suits them? What suits you? What chattels or fixtures and fittings remain with the property? Your agent will have profiled your buyer to find out what their perfect scenario might be. Price can often be compensated by other factors that work to your advantage. Consider everything.


4.      Be careful saying no to a good early offer.

Of all the seller mistakes I have witnessed in many years of real estate, saying no to a good early offer is probably the most common and most costly. A seller goes onto the market fresh with expectation of buyer interest. A clever pricing strategy will help this process and offers may come forward quickly. But keep in mind, your likely buyer is someone who has been 'doing the rounds' of properties for sale and is completely familiar with the market. In fact, almost all buyers go through a 'seasoning' process and will reach a point where they are comfortable with where they want to live, what they need and what they should be paying, give or take. A good early offer is a quality problem. Sit down with your agent and find out what might happen if you say no. Will you see that price again?


5.      A sale that didn't proceed is not a sale.

Many sellers experience the frustrating process of losing a sale under the terms of the agreement. Price and major terms may have been agreed but there could have been a clause in the agreement that allows the buyer to 'walk away' if they can't get a loan or can't sell a property or if the property they wish to purchase failed a building or pest inspection. It might be any one of a dozen things. If this happens, move on and don't hold on to the price of the offer as it didn't come to reality as the buyer could not complete the deal. Many sellers 'hold on' to a lost contract price in the belief it will be repeated, but this is not always the case. Discuss your options with your agent. Just because you had an offer once (that didn't go through) it doesn't mean it will be repeated. Keep in mind, you are selling something that has no recommended retail price