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How to Handle Negotiations When an Offer is Received

Selling a house can be a daunting task. Even though attracting buyers is perceived as the most challenging task during the selling process, negotiating and handling offers is equally nerve-wracking for sellers. Negotiating is a balancing act. If you push too hard, you might lose the offer; if you don’t try to bargain, you might leave some dollars on the table. It pays to have an experienced professional agent who understands the market and can honestly advise you when to close the deal and when to make a counteroffer. 

1. Set a Realistic Price

It is essential that you price your house correctly in the current market. By studying your agents’ research and conducting thorough research yourself – with as little emotional attachment as possible – you will understand what to expect from the market and buyers much better. 

By comparing your property to confirmed sales in the same location and also taking into account the season, similar year of build, similar layouts and property features and similar land sizes and market trends, you’ll be able to come up with a realistic price that serves as the basis of your negotiation. Looking at the pricing of similar properties for sale won’t help you decide on a price but will give valuable insight into your competition. Always remember that asking prices don’t reflect what buyers are willing to pay in the current market. 

The current market can change in a heartbeat, so you need to be fully aware of potential market changes, for example, more interest rate hikes. This, in turn, will influence bank valuations of properties, making servicing a mortgage more difficult for many buyers, especially if they have to borrow the majority of the sales price. 

Buyers don’t part with their hard-earned money easily (nor would you as a buyer) and often watch the market and similar property sales for months, so you can’t pull the wool over their eyes. Once you’ve established a realistic price, create a competitive edge, such as beautifully maintained gardens, a welcoming patio and an attractive front yard. 

One of the cheapest and most effective methods to stand out from your competition is staging or styling your property to emotionally appeal to all buyer types. Committing to a contract and specific property is an emotional process that shouldn’t be underrated. I wrote a blog on this website solely on this topic and cannot stress enough the immense value it adds to sellers – in the amount offered and shortening the time the property is on the market. You can establish the upper hand by competing for buyer attention, as it all narrows down to convincing buyers that your home is a) ideal for them and b) that you’re offering much better value for their money than any of the others.

2.  Choose Your Agent Wisely

There are two types of agents/reps: those who want/need to make a sale and those who sincerely want to do their very best for their sellers and aim to get them the highest sale price as quickly as possible.

The first type of agent/rep is under pressure from their bosses to make a sale to keep their job and to survive in the industry. I’ve trained many reps in my 20+ years as a principal/licensee and know for a fact that many of the less experienced agents lack the confidence to negotiate skilfully on behalf of their sellers and would do their best to close the sale rather than risk losing the offer (and their income) on the table.

The second type, however, is property experts who delight in negotiation. They understand buyer behaviour and have learned valuable lessons in years of negotiating on behalf of other sellers. These agents are more inclined to negotiate for higher prices and will consult with their sellers rather than defend low-bidding buyers.

Therefore, when choosing an agent to represent your best interest, consider their qualifications, experience and track records. Look at their genuine reviews and judge if their clients were truly satisfied with their services. You will feel a lot more confident and relaxed about being on the market if you use an agent willing to put in the time and effort to ensure that your property gets all the attention necessary to achieve the best possible financial and emotional results for you. Thousands of dollars are at stake, so metaphorically speaking, it pays to do your homework. 

If you are considering selling a property in Albany, Mount Barker, Denmark or Walpole areas, please contact me or call me to discuss your needs. Consultation, advice and appraisals are free of charge, with no obligation or harassment – ever.