In today’s hot seller market, many of the standard rules are reversed.
For example, buyers usually have the upper hand in negotiations – during normal times. According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors The number of houses for sale fell by 21% compared to the previous yearand sellers receive an average of three competing bids.
With these record low inventory levels and continued buyer interest, sellers start in a strong position when listing their home. That said, getting the best price is still a long and complicated negotiation process – and it pays (in the truest sense of the word) to know how to play your cards properly.
Here are four things to consider as you are negotiating the best terms to sell your home.
Prepare for success
The more perceived value a house has, the higher the price it will fetch. And one of the best ways to give your home that initial wow factor is to market it well. That means cutting out the clutter in your home, setting it up with your best furniture, and paying to have professional photos taken.
“Some things I always need to tell my salespeople (before the house goes on the market) in order to get the best price and first impression is to make sure it’s light and bright and to get rid of clutter or large and bulky items “Says Real Estate Agent Kristen banner.
Furthermore Staging your house for the best first impressionYou should also make sure that you are actually setting the prices for the sale. “The key to negotiating the best price is getting your home properly priced,” says Banner. “You can’t go too high or risk sitting in the market when buyers overlook you.”
While it is tempting to come up with your max price and see if you can get it, it is important to have some data to secure your home’s list price. One way to do this is to check websites like Trulia to compare the cost per square foot of similar homes in your area.
If you are Selling your home with a real estate agentThey can help you rate your home in a way that piques buyers’ interest. When you go FSBO Route, make sure you do your research before throwing out a number.
Know your home
Another important part of getting the best price for your home is understanding what you are selling and what is getting buyers interested.
Think: location, rarity, or updates, says Banner.
Perhaps your home is the only one for sale in a popular city block or you are selling one of the last three acres in a desirable neighborhood. Beyond exceptional circumstances, share any work you have done at home as well. Older houses with modern features that are ready to move into always bring in more money than those that are perceived as “fixer tops”.
Negotiate the right things
As a seller in a seller’s market, it can be tempting to bargain left and right to get the absolute best deal. However, keep in mind the goal of getting the best deal a buyer will agreeand ultimately, to sell your home.
“Sellers can negotiate sale price, closing cost, closing date, home warranty cost, survey cost, title company, title policy (although this is usually a seller-paid item), in-house items, and even repairs,” says Banner.
While you can negotiate every single one of these things, that doesn’t mean you should. If you are listed at a good price that the buyer is also happy with, this is the most important thing. After that, you can only consider logistical and convenient negotiations. For example, you may want to negotiate a later deadline so that you have more time to move.
If you haven’t got the perfect pricing agreement with your buyer, it may be time to bring in some extras to boost your asking price.
“A great way to stick to your price when buyers refuse is to offer additional benefits or concessions,” says Michael Dean, real estate agent and co-founder of Pool research. “The buyer may not initially be open to your original listing price, but this may change as you add furniture or appliances, offer to pay a percentage of the closing cost, or simply set a move-out date that your buyer prefers.”
Know your buyer
If your buyer really loves the home or needs to find a new spot quickly, you may have the upper hand. Otherwise, you or your agent will have to investigate.
“Let’s say I’m making a sale through the owner and I get a call from a potential buyer who says they’re interested,” says Aaron Norris, a real estate investor at PropertyRadar. “Instead of wasting time (or risking my health) showing my property to poorly qualified buyers, I ask a number of basic questions that seem innocent enough: name, current address, phone number, email address, and whether they prequalified are with a lender. “
With this information, sellers can search online for county public records (and even social media sites) to determine how long the buyer has owned their current property and job. All of this gives the seller a better idea of who the buyer is, whether they have any contingent liabilities (e.g., having to sell their old home to buy the new one) and how likely they are to be able to apply for a loan qualified.
These factors will help you select the best, most reliable buyer in the early stages of bidding and negotiation.
Don’t underestimate the importance of negotiation
Negotiating the price of your home fairly could be one of the hardest things you do as a seller. Not only is it a challenge to land on the correct numbers, but it can also be difficult to negotiate objectively about the terms of breaking up with something as personal as your home.
If you are unsure whether your negotiation skills are up to the task, it may be time to do so Consider the pros and cons of working with a real estate agent.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com