4 Strategies To Negotiating The Sale Of Your Home For More Money


When selling real estate, most homeowners focus on the price to make more money. By renovating the kitchen or bathrooms, the house could be worth ten, fifteen, or even one hundred thousand dollars more. That’s how it works on television. Or, you could make money by selling it as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) to avoid paying real estate commission. How hard can it be?  After trying these strategies for a few weeks or months, homeowners realize that succeeding with these strategies is harder than it might appear. Still interested in saving money, the homeowners decide to list with a real estate agent willing to reduce his or her commission. It’s understandable. The best way to make or save money is either to add granite, do it as FSBO, or find an agent willing to reduce his or her commission, right? Not necessarily. What if I told you there was a way to make or save thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars on the sale of your home without remodeling and with a super qualified agent? It’s possible. I do it all the time during a single phase of the sales process. The negotiation phase. In fact, it’s possible to make or save more money through the negotiating process when selling your home than any other way. However, you must follow these four simple strategies:

1. Have Lots Of Ideas

If you believe price is the only thing to negotiate, you need more ideas. There are tons of things to negotiate. How about the kitchen appliances? Maybe you were planning to leave them anyway. The buyers don’t know that, though. Use that “concession” to get more money. Or maybe the closing date in the offer is two weeks before your new home is ready. Negotiate a deal that allows you to stay in the home an couple weeks for free…so you only have to move once. How much money and time will that save you? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The more ideas you have. The better the chance you’ll make or save more money.

2. Be Willing To Walk Away

Never, NEVER fall in love with a deal. You have to be willing to walk away from the proverbial negotiation table. I know this is scary sometimes. What if the counter is too high? What if we scare the buyers away? The truth is, that can happen. But you have to be willing to stand your ground. If you are offering the home at a good price, with good terms, it will be the buyers’ loss, not yours. This principle is much easier to live with if you hire the right agent. Just like the first rule: have lots of ideas. Make sure you hire an agent who can give you lots of buyers. Believe me. That makes walking away much easier.

3. Take Your Time

Negotiations are not a race. In fact, I’ve noticed the party with the weakest position is usually in the biggest hurry. When an offer comes in, take time to look at it. Not just the price. What else are they asking for? What might be some of the concerns? How can we resolve those requests and concerns without dropping the price? This is a negotiation of your largest asset. Not a chess game in the park. Slow down.

4. Hire An Intermediary

An intermediary is simply a person who is positioned between you and the buyer. Have you heard the saying “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client”? I’m not exactly sure coined the phrase. I have read Abe Lincoln did. I have also heard that it is an old English proverb. Either way, it’s a sound principle in the courtroom. And it’s a sound principle at the negotiation table. Especially when negotiating something as personal as the home your children grew up in, or when you’re in a hurry because your new boss is expecting you San Francisco in three weeks. Is it possible to negotiate a real estate transaction without an intermediary? Sure it is. But here’s something to consider. Donald Trump, Sir Richard Branson, and Michael Jordan have intermediaries who negotiate for them. Sure, there are a lot of ways to make or save money when selling home. I would argue that a negotiation can not only make or make or break a deal, it can also save you thousands of dollars. Make sure you don’t overlook this part of the process. And make sure you hire a skilled negotiator.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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