With rare exception, negotiating the transaction is the most complex part of selling a home, particularly in a buyers’ market. At the same time, it’s the one that can involve the most creativity. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced and savvy REALTOR® who has successfully worked through many different transaction scenarios.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR HOME’S VALUE
It’s crucial to keep certain aspects of your selling situation (e.g. your finances, why you’re selling, how urgent you are) as concealed as possible from the buyer and buyer’s agent. Remember, it’s the job of the buyer’s agent to get the best deal they can for their client, so any vulnerability you show could end up compromising your position and costing you thousands of dollars. This is not the same, however, as expressing your priorities very clearly throughout the negotiations. Properly done, the firm statement of your priorities will strengthen your position. It is your REALTOR’s responsibility to make sure the buyer and buyer’s agent only know what they’re legally entitled to know and, beyond that, what you want them to know.
RESPECT THE BUYER’S PRIORITIES
If, during the negotiations, you can find out more about the buyer’s priorities you’ll not only improve your position, but you’ll also be able to resolve any obstacles more creatively and sensitively. For instance, if a buyer is adamant about the sale price – perhaps because they love your property, but they’re at the limits of their available financing – they might be more flexible about the closing date or willing to make concessions about some other terms. There are no “one size fits all” approaches to negotiating, particularly in the current market. In principle, though, the more you know about the buyer’s priorities, the more you’ll be able to work with them in order to achieve your own priorities.
LOOK BEYOND PRICE
While your home’s sale price will generally be the focus of negotiations, often both you and the buyer will have specific needs such that the terms of purchase can significantly influence the final deal. Additionally, it is in relation to the terms – which can represent thousands of dollars in value – where you can get most creative when it comes to resolving the obstacles to transacting.