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The art of negotiating: A home seller’s guide to crafting smart strategies

Contract Signing Between Man and Woman in an Office Setting

The negotiation stage is possibly the most critical part of the home selling process. This is where everything comes together or, if not done right, where everything can fall apart. To ensure the sale goes through smoothly with the least amount of stress for everybody involved, it’s going to take the right approach, attitude, and abilities.

Below are a few ideas that would not only help you sell your house fast but get you and your buyer the best possible outcome.

Start with the right agent

Think of selling a home as a long game that you need to prepare for. Before the actual negotiations take place, you must be well-equipped and ready for it.

If your first thought is to hire an experienced, knowledgeable, and capable agent, then you’re on the right track. However, experience, knowledge and abilities are only half of what’s required when it comes to negotiating. Work with an agent who has these qualities, but more importantly, hire an agent who is also inquisitive, creative, thorough, courteous, and helpful.

When seeking out the help of a real estate agent, it’s best to find out if their negotiating style aligns with your objectives. Ask them about their track record and their recent sales. What are the things they’ve learned from missteps they may have had along the way? These will offer valuable insight on how they will handle prospective buyers and their agents.

Avoid falling into the trap of real estate agents who offer you discounts off their commission. While it may appear tempting, this may lead you to compromise the way you are being represented to buyers. And this, in turn, will end up costing you more or prolonging the sale.

A mix of attitude and aptitude

An excellent agent will be able to negotiate from a win-win perspective. Although the housing market can be competitive and downright cutthroat at times, your agent must be skillful enough to approach it from a balanced angle.

It’s true that the right attitude will go a long way, especially during negotiations. It’s important to avoid being combative or getting focused on conflict. An adept agent with expert communication skills will be able to focus on reaching solutions and formulating strategies rather than getting caught up in small tangles and issues.

One strategy you may want to go over with your agent is how to identify value-creating moves for your buyer. What are some things that may be cheap for you to give that may be valuable to the buyer? Identifying what these are may just help close the deal faster.

When data is your best ally

The sharpest tool in your shed will always be information. When you have as much useful information as you can gather, you will be able to leverage it to your advantage.

Here’s a quick checklist of the fundamental information you need to clearly define:

  • Your sales objective
  • Your buyer’s reason for purchase
  • The square footage of your property
  • Room count
  • Taxes associated with the property
  • Homeowners’ association fees (if applicable)
  • Market time
  • Average market time for similar properties
  • Average market time of your property on the market
  • Similar properties on the market

The best strategy is a data-driven one. This way, you will be better equipped to draw insight into what will make the deal sweeter for your buyer. Finding out what they need from the deal will give you room to identify concessions you can offer without sacrificing what’s important to you.

It’s very important to set the groundwork for negotiations with your agent and identify clear goals from the jump. This will set the terms your real estate agent will push for in the negotiating table. A clear objective and your bottom line will make it easier for you to move on if you are presented with unacceptable terms.

Staying the course to close the sale

The best real estate agent will be able to not only prioritize your needs, but also build trust between you and the buyer. Minimizing the stress between both camps by decreasing uncertainty and providing transparency to the transaction is a balancing act that can produce wonderful results.

When done right, the negotiating stage results in everybody walking away happy and satisfied with the deal.

Our team at Coldwell Banker Traditions has been staying the course in Williamsburg, VA real estate since 1885, helping home sellers and buyers with their luxury properties. Reach out to us by calling 757.229.9595 or send us an email at info(at)cbtraditions(dotted)com.