Managing Buyer Negotiations: When to Compromise and When to Walk Away

If you’re ready to sell your home, you’ve probably already gathered information about what you need to do to make your house attractive to buyers. But what you might not have prepared for are the negotiation tactics many buyers use in order to get you to reduce your sales price or to gain other concessions. Read this post to learn how to spot buyers that won’t play fair at the negotiation table.buyer-negotiations.jpg

When Buyers Prod to Identify the Lowest Possible Offer:

If a buyer asks what you owe on your mortgage, take a deep breath before answering this question. From your perspective, what you owe on your house and your selling price may have little to do with each other. Still, some home buyers hope to find sellers that have quite a bit of equity in their house and are willing to make a quick sale just to get out of the loan. This question means the buyer is trying to find your bottom price and possibly, what your sense of urgency is.

The truth is that you might need to clear out your own mortgage rapidly. Still, your sense of urgency isn’t something you necessarily want to communicate to buyers. Your best tactic might be to meet this question with another question or even with silence. If your refusal to directly answer this question loses the buyer, you probably wouldn’t have been satisfied with the offer anyway.

When Buyers Try to Sneak in Last Minute Concessions:

When a buyer appears to have reached an agreement with you, then sets up a final meeting prior to finalizing the paperwork and throws in a number of additional requirements, you’re dealing with a last-minute negotiator. Make sure you document all your back and forth communication carefully and think about how you would want to respond if this situation occurs.

In some cases, buyers will simply realize they wanted to ask about keeping the washer and dryer and they forgot. If that’s the situation, a small concession like that can go a long way in building goodwill with the buyer, so consider honoring their request. In other situations, buyers may try to get money for repairs or will ask for a larger discount on the home. Once again, you should prepare yourself for this possibility and make sure you’ve figured out your bottom line price. Negotiate within the confines of what you already decided you were willing to do and if a buyer goes outside of your comfort zone, it’s time to stand firm and tell them you’re either going to go with their initial offer or you’re done. The ball is in your court and you have every right to walk away. Sometimes even letting a buyer know that you would walk away if they aren’t willing to compromise will be enough to get them to cave. 

Use these tips to head to the negotiation table confidently, ready to take on whatever tactics potential buyers throw your way.


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