Home Selling: 5 Ways to Improve Your Negotiating Game

Home Selling NegotiationChances are slim that a home buyer will take one look at your home and make an offer that accepts your terms at face value. Unless it's an exceptionally strong seller's market, much of the buying and selling process is negotiated, which means that your negotiating style, and your real estate agent's negotiating skills, could affect the terms of the sale.

These five tips will help you improve your approach to negotiation when selling your home, so that you can form a good working relationship with the buyer and get the best price & terms.

1. Prioritize Your Expectations

Start by listing your home selling expectations and prioritizing. You have a sense for what you want from the sale, but your documented expectations should be based on:

  • the real estate market conditions in your area
  • the location & condition of your home
  • how quickly you need to sell
  • the impression buyers will have of your home compared to others

Talk to your real estate agent about the market in your city and specifically your neighborhood. Be up-front about your needs, so that your agent can help you price the home to meet them. You get the final decision on accepting offers, rejecting them or making counter-offers, but your agent will also make recommendations. Ask your agent about preferred methods for negotiation, and follow them.

2. Keep a Businesslike Perspective

For buyers, this is purely a business decision. In order to get the best deal, you must do...

Real Estate Offer Cover Letter

If  your agent isn’t presenting your real estate offers with a cover letter, you are losing money.  That’s right.  You are out right losing money for not taking the time to write a real estate offer cover letter.

I am a very firm believer that when presenting an offer for a buyer, one of the greatest services that an agent can provide is to include a well written powerful argument describing why the buyer is offering what they are offering in the form of an offer cover letter.

When supported with a well researched offer cover letter, it makes it a lot harder for a seller to counter as aggressively as they may have otherwise wished.

This is because the cover letter gives meaning to the asking price, instead of it just being a buyer’s dream.  There is a huge difference between, “My client is offering to purchase your home at X price for this reason, this reason, and this reason”, as opposed to, “My client wants to purchase your home at X price just because he feels like it.” That is the message that no offer cover letter sends because the proposal is not grounded by any information.

This becomes even more and more true as you work up the scale into higher priced properties.  Can you imagine the impact that a well formulated argument may have on a negotiation for a $2 million home?  It can be huge.

To all the cynics, no, I don’t believe that a seller is going to give away their home because of a one page letter.  But I do believe that it can make an impact of $25,000, $10,000 or even $5,000.  Even at $5,000 the effort is so well worth it, and the truth is that your agent is doing you a disservice if this is not being done.

What Should Be In An Offer Cover Letter?

  • Tone – write the offer cover letter in a direct yet respectful manner that gives the seller the sense...