Just because the market is ripe for buyers right now, does not mean that sellers have to get nothing for their property. There are things that sellers can do that will help them get more for their home. These are some tips to help sellers negotiate effectively:
Whatever your deadlines or pressures to sell may be, you should keep them private. Having potential buyers aware that your job is transferring you out of the state at the end of next month or that you cannot make your mortgage payment after this month does nothing to strengthen your negotiating position so it should be kept to yourself.
If you are under the gun because you cannot afford your mortgage, you might find the lender willing to give you some more time if they know you are trying to sell the home. Contact the loss mitigation department of your mortgage holder and try to get some additional time to sell the home by possibly lowering your mortgage payment while your home is on the market. It is much easier to negotiate effectively when you have a little room to breathe.
Be careful of loaded questions like “why are you selling” when in negotiations with a buyer or their agent. Details about your private life or financial situation should be your business alone. Safe answers like climate or to be close to family are the best way to answer those types of questions.
Do not try so hard to “sell” everything that you feel is valuable about your home. Let the value of the home speak for itself and you stay quiet. The most effective way to do this is not to be around when buyers are looking at your home. Having the sellers in the home when a buyer is trying to connect with a property can be a distraction. Instead of picturing themselves in the home, they are watching the seller’s reactions for any tell they might have about the property or the need to sell it. It becomes more about negotiation than about finding a home and that it not a good negotiating position for a seller.
Incentivizing your agent to sell the home is one way to get results. By offering a financial incentive if they sell your home for a certain price point or in a short period of time, you can be sure that your listing agent will give your property the time and energy that you expect.
The most important tip to negotiating effectively is to take as much of the pressure off as possible. When you are a distressed seller, the way to do this is to have a contingency plan. You have to have an alternate plan of what to do in the event that you cannot sell the home for what you need. You could arrange to rent the property or lease it for a specific period of time before you attempt to sell it again. What is important to your ability to negotiate effectively is that you have a Plan B.
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About Tom Davidson — Tom Davidson is Vice President of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.