Real Estate Negotiation: How to Get the Best Price for Your Home

Selling your home is one of the biggest financial transactions you will make in your lifetime, so want to make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table. There are several factors that go into determining how much money you will walk away with, including the final sale price of your home as well as real estate commissions. Therefore, it is wise for sellers to understand how to negotiate in order to bring in the best possible price. Here are some tactics and strategies for helping a seller get top-dollar for their home. 

Create a Bidding War

While this can be a nightmare for buyers, it’s a dream for the sellers. A bidding war drives up the sale price, sometimes well beyond the initial asking price. Keep in mind, however, that the current market conditions can impact your ability to create a bidding war. When the market is hot, this can easily be accomplished by sellers but in a buyer’s market, it may not be so easy. Pay attention to the market. When there is limited inventory, there can be a frenzy among buyers to outbid each other. On the other hand, if there are plenty of homes on the market, buyers may walk away and simply look for another home. One way to help initiate a bidding war is to price your home slightly below market value. This will attract more buyers to your property, resulting in more offers. You can also trigger a bidding war by setting a deadline for all offers on your home, which can motivate buyers to submit an offer. 

Counter at Your List Price

Most sellers do not accept a potential buyer’s first offer and buyers typically expect a counteroffer. Sometimes, sellers will counteroffer with a price that’s higher than the initial offer but lower than the list price because they don’t want to lose the sale. While this strategy does usually work to get the property sold, it’s not necessarily the best way to get top dollar for your home. Instead of countering with a lower price, counter by sticking to your list price. Someone who really wants to buy the house will come back to you with a higher offer. 

Ask for Sellers to Bring their Highest and Best Offer

Another tactic sellers can employ during negotiations is referred to as the “best and final” offer. This works well when there are multiple offers on a home. The seller asks prospective buyers to bring their “highest and best” offer, encouraging them to submit the highest price they would be willing to pay for your home. This indicates to buyers that there are multiple offers on the table and usually results in more competitive bids. 

Add a Deadline for Counteroffers

When you have countered an offer as the seller, you can initiate a deadline for the prospective buyer to respond. This is a great way to move the negotiations along more quickly and usually encourages the seller to respond more aggressively. 

Agree to Pay Closing Costs

Closing costs typically amount to 3% of a home’s sale price and buyers often feel strapped for cash after paying a down payment and moving expenses. Some buyers can’t or won’t close a deal without assistance for closing costs. Though most buyer’s don’t want to spend the extra cash upfront, they don’t mind borrowing a little more so if you can offer to pay their closing costs, there’s a good chance you can get a higher purchase price for your home.