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Real Estate Negotiation Expert Tells All
Dated: July 22 2021
Real Estate Agents pride ourselves on our ability to negotiate. But we need to keep developing and adapting those negotiation skills to meet changing needs. In today’s Las Vegas housing market, I negotiation using the following tactics that are an advantage to my home sellers.
Counter at your list price.
- If the sellers priced their home fairly, they could counter an initial lower bid by countering with just a slightly lower price. But that’s not the way to get top dollar. Instead, sellers should counter by sticking to their list price. This shouldn’t put off serious buyers who’ll see the sellers are confident in the value they’re offering. This will only drive away those who will never do a deal unless they get a “bargain.”
Reject the buyers’ initial offer.
- An even gutsier way to proceed is for the sellers to reject a lower offer and not counter at all. To keep the buyers engaged, I politely ask them to submit a new offer. If they are genuinely interested, they will. When sellers fail to counter, they are not ethically locked into a negotiation, so they can accept a higher offer. This tactic is especially good if the home has been on the market only a short time, or if I have an open house coming soon.
Refuse to entertain offers until after the open house.
- If pandemic guidelines permit it, I schedule an open house soon after listing the home, and announce that the sellers won’t be taking offers until after the open house. This gives potential buyers the idea that they are in competition with others and may cause them to make higher offers. Even if I only get one offer, that buyer will not know that, so the sellers will still have a psychological edge going forward in the negotiations.
Have sellers put an expiration date on their counteroffer.
- This motivates buyers to make a decision, so the sellers can get their home under contract or move on to other offers. I don’t make the deadline so short it turns off the buyers, but I do consider shortening it from the default time frame in your standard real estate contract. This also benefits sellers because while the counter is outstanding, their home is effectively off the market, since many buyers won’t make an offer while another negotiation is going on.
Agree to pay closing costs but add them to the price you’ll accept.
- Buyers often ask sellers to pay closing costs because they don’t have the extra upfront cash. But they often can afford to borrow a little more. So, my sellers can counter by agreeing to pay a portion or all of the closing costs but at a higher sale price that adds in those costs. The only caveat is the appraisal must meet the higher price, or the seller will need to lower the price or the buyers will have to come up with more upfront money to close the deal.
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