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How to Win a House Negotiation: A Guide For Sellers

If you’re selling your house, there will come a time when you need to negotiate with potential buyers. You may not even realize it until it happens, but if you’ve done your homework and prepared yourself ahead of time, you’ll be ready to handle any situation that comes your way. 

Here are some expert house negotiation techniques to help you on your path to a successful sale.

Weigh your leverage

Competition drives the real estate market. Sellers have a lot more bargaining power when there is intense competition. When the competition heats up, buyers will pay more for homes. However, if sellers aren’t ready for the changes in the market, they could lose out.

Since 2020 the market has swung far in the favor of the seller. Demand for homes continues to rise while supply remains low. Sellers have an advantage because there are fewer homes available than potential buyers. Here’s what you need to consider when determining how much leverage you have in your transaction:

  • What are home inventory levels like? – Consider both the national as well the local market. The higher the inventory levels, the less negotiating power you’ll have as a seller.
  • How high (or how low) are interest rates right now? – This is generally a good indicator of the number of potential buyers you’ll have at your fingertips. If interest rates are low, there will be more buyers out there willing to purchase homes. If interest rates are high, there will be fewer buyers looking to buy homes.

Price your home to attract competitive offers

If you overprice your home, you may lose out on interest if buyers see the home as not worth the asking price. You also run the risk of having your home linger on the market without any offers, because buyers will assume there are other homes in the area that are priced lower.

When you set an initial listing price, you need to consider the current market conditions and adjust accordingly. If you are unsure about the value of your home, you should consult with a local real estate agent or appraiser.

Get your house in tip-top shape

Consider how you want to present the home when it goes on the market. For example, does the interior still feel warm and inviting after years of living in it? Does the yard need mowing, or could you use a fresh coat of paint? These are just a few questions that you might ask yourself before putting your home on the market.

Here are a few key places to start:

  • Clean out your closets and drawers. Pack away all of your belongings. Throw away anything you haven’t touched in years.
  • Clear out your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Take everything out of your cupboards and put them in boxes.
  • If there are any appliances that need repair, get those fixed before listing your house.
  • Make sure the bathroom is clean and free of clutter.
  • Check the roof and gutters for leaks. Give the exterior of your house a fresh coat of neutral or white paint.

Double-check repair requests

If you receive a repair request or a request for a repair credit, make sure you double-check these repairs with a professional. First, make sure that the identified problem actually needs to be fixed. Then, get an accurate quote on what it will cost to fix the issue.

Remember: sellers aren’t obligated to make any repairs after the purchase agreement is signed. The only repairs you should negotiate on at that point are those that weren’t apparent or disclosed when the buyers saw the property.

Negotiate closing costs with your priorities in mind

Buyers often bear the brunt of the closing costs because most of the fees are associated with the process of getting a mortgage. Because of this, many buyers will try to negotiate with sellers to pay at least part of their closing costs.

If you have a buyer asking you to cover the closing costs as part of the initial offer, there are a few ways you may be able to make the negotiation work in your favor:

  • Can you use this as leverage to move the closing process along more quickly? If a quick sale is a priority for you, you may be able to negotiate to cover the buyer’s closing costs in exchange for a quick, hassle-free sale.
  • Ask for the buyers to pay the full asking price to cover the costs you’ll be paying on their behalf. 

Again, keep in mind the market and what leverage you have when deciding whether to make these concessions. If the home inventory is low and you have multiple offers coming in, you may be better off to see what other offers come along. 

Ready to get started?

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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