​Three Mistakes Sellers Must Avoid


Once you put your home up for sale, you may have it priced just right and staged it beautifully to attract buyers that are ready to scoop it up.

The reality is that buyers are full of surprises, and all of them very predictable:

  • they rarely want to pay the asking price,
  • they heavily discount or completely dismiss improvements you’ve made,
  • their home inspections usually turn up something for you to fix, and
  • they may have terms that you did not expect

So whether you plan to or not, you’re going to have to negotiate with your buyers.

Now, negotiating doesn’t mean that one side loses and the other wins. It’s simply a way to come to a middle ground and an eventually to mutually satisfying agreement so you don’t lose the buyer and the buyer doesn’t lose your house. Negotiation is designed for both of you to get what you want.

You’ve done something right or you wouldn’t have an offer on your home, but a sale isn’t in the bag yet. Don’t blow it. Here are three negotiating mistakes to avoid:

1. Asking top dollar for an aging property.

While the market is better than it was during the recession, an older home that hasn’t been renovated or maintained to perfection still cannot compete with updated or newer homes.

Interiors need updating every 10 years because colors, patterns and textures will change with every generation. When you’ve lived in a home for some years, you don’t see the age of your appliances, fixtures and finishes the way buyers see them. Even if it’s not torn or broken, buyers may see certain things as outdated and in need to be replaced.

2. Getting angry at a low ball offer.

Buyers will make low ball offers all the time. Don’t take it personally and stay cool – it’s simply a negotiating tactic. If a buyer wasn’t interested in the home, there would be no offer – so look at it as a starting point and start negotiating.

Have your agent ask the buyer’s agent for the reasoning behind the low offer before you respond. The buyer could be using inaccurate comps, they could be trying to buy above their price range, or they may be investors who use a certain formula to acquire properties.

No offers or extremely low offers could be telling you that your home is overpriced compared to other similar homes in your neighborhood. If your agent gave you a price range based on what sold recently around you and you priced above that range, you need to lower the price.

3. All or nothing attitude.

Negotiations keep the dialog going and the buyer interested. That’s why asking questions through your agent is always good idea before you say no. If you know what the buyer wants, it’s easier for you to offer a deal that will work for both of you.

You need to be flexible on the points that count most with the buyer, like move-in dates, and the buyer is more likely to be flexible with you on repairs or other negotiation.

Remember, you want to sell your home and your buyer wants to buy it. You just need to find a middle ground.