When selling your home, it is easier to find common ground with potential buyers than you think.
Sitting at the bargaining table does not always have to be an unpleasant experience. Both sides simply stating what is needed out of the transaction will save lots of mind games and headaches. There should be negotiation on both sides. Plus being that it is a property transfer, this involves legal documents which can give real estate transactions the overall feeling of being adversarial. It doesn’t have to be.
The common perception is: The seller wants to get as much money as possible, and the buyer wants to pay as little as possible. Insurmountable odds? Not necessarily. Look at it in this way: the buyer and the seller actually want the same thing! The seller wants to sell the house, and a buyer wants to buy the house. Putting yourself into the shoes, and mind of a seller, can be very a powerful way to help both sides get closer to a win/win outcome. Here are a few insights from the seller’s side that should be shared with the buyers side
1. Please be courteous. Picking the house apart within earshot does not make the seller want to deal with you. Remember that this is someone’s home, and an expression of their personal tastes. And it’s also an asset that represents the financial means to realize future goals. Pointing out obvious flaws or issues is not helpful, and isn’t telling the seller anything they don’t’ already know. The end result is an insulted seller. If you as the buyer feel strongly that something about the house makes it less valuable than the comparables the selling side based the list price on, it’s best to communicate your reasoning via your agent to the listing agent in a way that is diplomatic and factual. If the buyers’ agent doesn’t handle things professionally, it will affect the viability of that offer in the eyes of the selling agent and their client.
2. Cash is still King With so many distressed properties, multiple offers over asking price, and the indications of a seller’s market in many areas; it has become the norm for selling side to request proof of a buyer’s financial ability. Many buyers nowadays just offer this proof up front, even if it hasn’t been requested. And sellers’ agents know this pearl of wisdom – often, the things that trip up a buyer’s loan can be fixed with money, extra cash down, extra cash for post-closing repairs required by the city or the lender. So showing that you have more cash than you need for this transaction doesn’t mean the seller will “up” the asking price – but it might help them feel that you can deal with unexpected hurdles should they arise.
3. Patience is key. In today’s hugely competitive sellers market, one looming issue remains between buyers and sellers: Why wouldn’t a mortgage pre-approval letter be enough? Why should the buyer have to provide an endless mountain of documentation? Is the seller paranoid or nosy? Not at all. Once again it’s helpful to look at things from the sellers’ perspective. Over the last few years, the number of home sale transactions that went into – and fell out of – escrow due to loan problems of “per-approved” buyers have been on the rise. While this is a nightmare for buyers, it’s even more frustrating for the sellers, who are counting on the transaction to close in the time frame originally agreed upon. The time frames and schedules on both sides take a hit. It’s also agonizing for the seller who had 5 offers to choose from, then the one chosen falls out of escrow at the eleventh hour.
4. Try to be realistic. When multiple offers are pouring in and frantic buyers seem to be throwing money at a house, sellers must bear in mind that their home might not appraise at such an inflated price. It can be difficult to concentrate on the offers and deals that seem realistic and truly have the ability to close, which sometimes means not choosing the highest bidder.
In a nutshell, sometimes the highest offer isn’t always the best one. Things like professionalism on both sides, common courtesy, and a willingness to negotiate is what is important. The entire transaction will seem far less adversarial when the goal is to provide a win-win situation for the buyer and the seller.
Finding common ground – it can be done!
Contact your local realtor Mona Koussa to help you sell your home.