5  Mistakes Sellers Make While Negotiating

You have decided to put your home on the market with high hopes of getting top dollar & a quick sale. These are the goals of most sellers!

NegotiationUnfortunately, listing your home for sale is just the start of what can become a long and unpredictable process. Often, negotiating can be the key in speeding up or slowing down the process of selling your home.

Negotiating is one of the most crucial steps in determining the success or failure of the deal. It has a direct impact on how quickly your property sells and your return on investment (if any) you will see. Without an open mind, a Seller may stall or impede the progress in reaching a closing of the sale.

It’s important for both buyer and seller to come away from the negotiating table feeling like it’s ended with a Win/Win. When negotiations are handled by competent real estate professionals who remain emotionally un-attached, everyone can come away feeling victorious. Here are 5 negotiating mistakes often made by sellers.

Inconsistency between Reality and Expectations

Almost everyone takes pride in their home. That is why we tend to overlook and forgive its little flaws. Sometimes these little imperfections remind of us a certain event, (like teething marks on door frame) and we become attached to them.  Don’t let your sentiments blur your vision. Home buyers will be examining your home with a critical eye using these against you when negotiating. Put yourself in the buyers shoes, honestly look at your home, you know its positive assets and its setbacks. This will assist you in determining a fair market price.

Keep in mind buyers are the ones who determine the demand, so stay flexible. Whether you like it or not, buyers often have the last word, even more so when its a “buyers market” .  Remember, your expectation of what you “NEED” out of the sale may not align with actual market value.

What’s next ?

As a seller, there are a few things you can do to educate yourself on current market conditions. Hire a trusted local Real Estate Professional that is knowledgeable about the area and comes with references & recommendations. Have your agent prepare a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) then drive by & view the properties used in this analysis. Don’t let your desires be the guide in determining the price of your home, instead let your decision be data based. Once a listing price has been established, you may find that you can’t afford to sell right now, if that’s the case renting may be an option or waiting until market conditions improve.

Never Underestimate the value of a Good Real Estate Professional

A good real estate broker can provide you with a clear understanding of current market conditions adding an invaluable resource during the negotiation process. Occasionally sellers tip their hand, divulging too much information, or decline a reasonable offer because emotions get in the way. By letting your broker lead the way, they can help you avoid making costly mistakes & sabotaging the chances of selling your home. They do this for a living, they are professionals, and should have your best interests in mind during any discussions they have on your behalf.

What to look for in a Broker?

Choose your broker wisely! Picking the wrong broker can cost you time & money. Check their track record of successfully negotiating sales through to closing, it should be proven and verifiable. They should be familiar with their market area & know the conditions effecting the market. Consider their background, are they educated & experienced in negotiations? Find out their marketing plan both on and offline. Check to see if the broker holds any designations such as GRI (Graduate of Real Estate Institute) or CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert). Some brokers have obtained additional education & training to enhance their abilities to assist their clients.

Us vs. Them Attitude

NegotiatingDuring the negotiation process, it’s important to rely on your brokers knowledge & experience but also think for yourself, create  your own mindset. Emotions can run high during this process, try not to let those feelings take over and cloud your good judgement or impair your ability to make decisions.   Placing yourself in the buyers shoes can help, be empathetic to their point of view. This doesn’t mean you have to concede to their demands, it just provides the opportunity to see what’s truly important and opens up a fair “Give & Take” dialogue during the negotiation process.

What Can You Do?

Try to recognize the needs of the other party and understand their position. You’ll easily find a solution that will satisfy both parties when you know what’s important to them. This also helps change your attitude, acting antagonistic will get you nowhere fast.  Simply having the buyer believing they are on  equal footing & feeling that you are on their side positively impacts negotiations. Often just taking interest in the motives of the other side may end up with stunning results.

Be Careful rejecting too quickly

If the offer you receive is less than satisfying at first sight, the initial tendency is to outright refuse it. Stop right there, take a deep breath & let your emotions subside. Don’t feel pressured to respond right away, this doesn’t have to be a fast deal.

At this stage, seek the council of your broker, this is a good time to re-evaluate current market conditions & then formulate an effective counter-offer.

Many buyers make ridiculously low offers as a result of not understanding current market trends. Don’t take this personally, even a low ball offer opens the door to find common grounds. Without an offer, there are no negotiations.

Let the professional handle the negotiations, work with your broker to come up with a reasonable counter-offer. This shows the buyer you are serious about selling your home but not willing to accept an unreasonable price.

Final Thoughts

NegotiationWith so much on the line, negotiating can be an intimidating process. Let your real estate broker put their expertise to work for you, they understand the nuances of the local market. This is the time to rely on your broker & let them professionally handle the process, the results should be an acceptable sales price with terms you are comfortable with.

There really is no substitute for using an experienced real estate professional!

SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate