Don’t Be Moved by Awkward Silence
When you are negotiating and the buyer makes an offer, don’t feel compelled to respond immediately. Whether it be 10 seconds or 10 minutes, make the buyer or his agent speak first. They may see your silence as disappointment, and choose to revise the offer or offer a concession just to break the silence. Do not let experienced negotiators use this tactic to get you to accept successively lower offers without counteroffer from you and your agent.
Do Learn What Motivates the Buyer
Sometimes buying agents will work to learn why you want to sell your home. Agents know that sellers want to go to escrow only once. If the buyer is advise to demand a lower price because of minor defects discovered during a third-party home inspection, they will use this as a negotiating tool. More importantly, an agent for the buyer may advise his client to offer the asking price, knowing that minor flaws exist, only to demand reductions bringing the offer down to what the buyer wanted to pay. Knowing that situations like this happen, don’t let the process of selling your home wear you out. Don’t compromise your time and efforts to keep things moving in escrow. Your listing agent should suggest a home inspection before you list to avoid trouble when negotiating the sale.
Don’t Freely Give Out Your Information
If you have multiple offers on your home, the price is not always the bottom line. Sometimes what you tell the buyer is advantageous to his/her offer, rather than your selling position.
For example, let’s say you have two interested buyers. One buyer offers full asking price, thinking that you will readily accept, but tells you she needs a few months to close to get financing finalized or to get inspection. The other buyer causally asks why you are selling, and you offer crucial information about a coming transfer that leads the buyer to offer $10,000 less than your asking price, but agrees to close quickly without any financial or inspection contingences.
While the first buyer offered more money, the second buyer was more appealing time-wise. If you were under a time constraint, the second buyer solved your problem. How did he know about the time constraint? You may have disclosed it without thinking when he asked why you were selling.
Do Get the Last Concession
Remaining calm and focused during the counteroffers is the key to getting the last concession. By asking the buyer to give something in return every time he comes back with another request, you gain the upper hand, and he will starting backing away from making nonessential demands. The less he thinks he can get away with, the less he will ask for beyond what he really needs. He may be afraid you request a concession that is important to him and come to understand that letting you have the last concession will be his best deal.
Don’t Become Flooded with Concessions
When a buyer submits an offer to you, unless it’s a fantastic one, you should bring counteroffers to the table. Perhaps a different price and/or concessions – such as shorter closing dates, terms, modifications of contingencies, or incentives – will enter the negotiations.
When reviewing the offer, be sure to consider items that would be unacceptable to you. A counteroffer is used to, in effect, accept some (or most) of the terms of the buyer’s latest offer, while modifying other items. Since there is no limit to the amount of times counteroffers can be made, make sure the buyer will have to wait for your response. Your eagerness to respond may be interpreted as desperation on your part, which, in turn, may give the buyer more leverage.
Excerpted from my book “Selling Secrets – You Can’t Afford to Miss”
Ricardo Parente, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Realty | Winter Park, FL