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How Long Does it Take to Negotiate on Your House? Tips for Sellers

It can feel like forever when you’re going through the stress of negotiating a home sale, even though real estate negotiations don’t typically take more than a few days. 

While some patience is required for smart negotiation, there are some ways you and your agent can help to keep things moving.

Here are some tips on how long negotiation takes, what factors can impact negotiations, and how you can help.

What’s up for negotiation during the offer stage?

The purchase price, closing date, closing costs, and buyer’s contingencies are some of the things that are up for negotiation during the offer stage. Buyer’s contingencies may include terms related to financing, the home inspection, and the home appraisal. The buyer might also have special contingencies, like buying contingent on the sale of their current home – and those could take more time. 

This is also the stage that the seller would disclose any attachments to the home that they plan to take in the move – like appliances, window treatments, etc. – and the buyer can request that they stay.

Of all the points in the negotiation, pricing tends to be the biggest make-or-break variable. 

When do negotiations start and stop?

Negotiations will start after a buyer makes their initial offer on the property, and it’s mutually beneficial to move forward as quickly as possible. The length of negotiations comes down to how fast the agents can communicate their client’s interest and get the deal in writing. 

Offer negotiations typically stop when both parties have signed the purchase offer that details everything in writing. However, that isn’t always the case. The door can be reopened for negotiations depending on the results of the home inspection & home appraisal. Even if this is the case, the process will keep moving in order to meet deadlines for the closing date noted in the contract. 

Since time is such an important factor in the sale of a home, what can you do to make sure negotiations keep moving?

Prioritize Before Negotiations Start

Before you start fielding offers from prospective buyers, it’s important to take the time to think about what matters most to you and identify your priorities.

There are many factors that go into every home sale. Think about where you have room to compromise and where you don’t so that you aren’t put on the spot to make those decisions during negotiations. This includes things like your absolute bottom price line, whether you want to fight to take your appliances with you, etc. 

Establishing these priorities ahead of time means you’ll be able to act more quickly when the clock is ticking. Choose a few things that are important to you – whether that’s the price, timining, or contingencies – and your listing agent will help you stay focused on the bottom line.

Gain Leverage With a Smart Pricing Strategy

The number one way to tip the scales in your favor is by pricing your home correctly. Work with your agent to pinpoint the lowest offer you’d consider accepting and think of any higher offers as a bonus. 

Go into negotiations with the understanding that the process takes time, and negotiating with the highest price as a priority may not result in the quickest closing time. 

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Think

Don’t be forced into decisions just because you’re pressed for time. If your goal is to sell your home sometime in the spring, you may want to talk to an agent 6 months or more in advance. This gives you time to prepare your home inside & out and gives your agent time to prepare & find potential buyers for the listing. 

Don’t Ice Out Interested Buyers

A prompt response goes a long way in generating trust and good faith with your buyer, but it can also be the difference between making a deal and missing out on it.

It’s not a good idea to keep buyers waiting for your next move, because they may still be looking at other properties and putting in other offers. Your agent should communicate with you and the buyer’s agent frequently to ensure that both parties are informed and the process continues to move.

Work With an Experienced Agent

A REALTOR® will be able to guide you through every step of the process and protect your interests along the way. Team Melton has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started on selling your home!

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