You and your REALTOR® have done all the hard work to sell your home, and now you have an offer. Yay! So why are you suddenly so stressed out? You wanted this, right?
Don’t worry. Everything you’re feeling is perfectly normal. This is when he rubber meets the road, after all. Every word—and number—in that offer has a direct impact on what happens for you and your family in the weeks (and years) ahead.
From excited to nervous to furious and everything in between, your emotions will run the gamut. You may even second guess your decision to sell your home in the first place. Much like buyer’s remorse, every homeowner questions himself at some point along the journey of the biggest transaction of his life.
to negotiate for the best price and terms possible, it’s critical that you focus on the right things.
Communicating closely with your real estate agent makes all the difference. No matter what my clients’ situation, I see the same themes come up again and again during a negotiation. A few rules to help ensure you get the most money possible with the least stress:
1) Stay calm: easier said than done, right? Your real estate agent plays a huge role here. He or she is the objective advisor who can help you make good decisions when all you really want to do is throw the offer into the fire, and maybe throw a hissy fit while you’re at it. (I don’t mind the odd hissy fit when the moment calls for it. Just keep it short so we can get back to business quickly.)
2) And offer is a puzzle: look at the offer as a giant puzzle with lots of pieces that we can move around until we get the whole “picture.” Price is one piece. So is possession, along with numerous other terms and conditions. It often takes some back and forth with the buyer to get all the pieces to fit together nicely.
3) Focus on the difference: I know that sounds adversarial, but it’s just too easy to focus on “the price offered” when are soooo close on so many things (including price!). Instead of focusing on “the number,” consider the difference between your price and the buyer’s price, and also the difference in other terms or conditions desired, such as possession date, inclusions, condition dates, and repair requests. How can you work on these individual differences to close gaps and get closer to an agreement?
Bottom line: Negotiation is all about tradeoffs, and everything is negotiable.
Unfortunately we live in a world of instant gratification. I’m here to tell you that this is the worst approach when selling your home. In the Lethbridge real estate market, the first offer is often a starting point. Let’s be real: no homebuyer wants to feel like she is paying a premium. Find out where the buyer is coming from and then explore strategies for getting what you need from the transaction. There is no one-size-fits-all formula. A great agent, however, can think strategically and help you come up with the right response to each offer and counter offer.
Put your game face on and know that even a small step forward in a negotiation is a big step toward getting your house sold!