It’s still pretty much a seller’s market throughout the country right now, with buyer demand high and inventory low. But even though sellers may be in the driver’s seat, they still have to do some negotiating to get the best price and best deal possible. It’s important, then, for sellers to know the negotiation strategies that will do that for them. Read on to find out how to negotiate offers when selling your house in Seattle.
Counter at Your List Price
Offers and counteroffers are common in real estate, and buyers expect to engage in some back-and-forth negotiations. A good tactic to negotiate offers when selling your house in Seattle is to counter at your list price.
It’s not often that a home seller will accept a buyer’s initial bid because first offers are typically below asking price – and often below what buyers are actually willing to pay. Most sellers, though, “will make a counteroffer with a price that’s higher but still below their list price, because they’re afraid of losing the potential sale. They want to seem flexible and willing to negotiate to close the deal. This strategy does indeed work in terms of getting the property sold, as thousands of sellers can attest, but it’s not necessarily the best way to get top dollar.”
Instead of making a counteroffer below your list price, you should counter at your list price. “Someone who really wants to buy will remain engaged and come back to you with a higher offer. Assuming that you’ve priced your property fairly to begin with, countering at your list price says that you know what your property is worth and you intend to get the money you deserve.”
Just be aware, though, some buyers will be turned off by this strategy, seeing it as an unwillingness to negotiate, and may walk away. Be sure to consult a Seattle agent before making a move that could kill the sale. To discover more about this, just call (206) 465-7215.
Set an Expiration Date for the Counteroffer
Another effective strategy used to negotiate offers involves putting an expiration date on the counteroffer.
Putting an expiration date on your counteroffer can help you sell your home more quickly. “This strategy compels the buyer to make a decision, so you can either get your home under contract or move on. Don’t make the deadline so short that the buyer is turned off, but consider making it shorter than the default time frame in your state’s standard real estate contract. If the default expiration is three days, you might shorten it to one or two days.”
There’s an additional benefit to selling your home more quickly with a counteroffer that has an expiration date. And that is that your home is on the market a shorter amount of time. “While the counteroffer is outstanding, your home is effectively off the market. Many buyers won’t submit an offer when another negotiation is underway. And if the deal falls through, you’ve added time to the official number of days your home has been on the market. The more days your home is on the market, the less desirable it appears, and the more likely you are to have to lower your asking price to get a buyer.”
Reject the Offer
If you’re bold enough, you can try one of the more extreme tactics to negotiate offers, one that is riskier than countering at your list price. You simply reject the offer and don’t counter at all.
After rejecting the offer, you ask the buyer to submit a new offer. If the buyer is serious and really interested, she will usually stay in the game and make a higher offer. “This strategy sends a stronger signal that you know your property is worth what you’re asking for it. If the buyer resubmits, they’ll have to make a higher offer – unless they decide to play hardball back and submit the same or even a lower offer.”
And therein lies the danger: the buyer may not submit a higher offer or may just bow out if you reject the offer. You can, however, accept a higher offer if it comes along because you haven’t countered and are legally/ethically “locked into a negotiation with a particular buyer.” Still, you should probably consult a Seattle agent at (206) 465-7215 before deploying such an extreme tactic.
Ask for the Highest and Best Offer
A final tactic to negotiate offers is to invite buyers to make their highest and best offer (also known as best and final offer) at the outset. By doing this, you can get higher offers right out of the gate and avoid the headache of the offer-counteroffer cycle.
“As a seller, employing this tactic means you’re not going to negotiate with every potential buyer who makes an offer. Instead, you want them to submit the highest price they’re willing to pay, along with the best sale terms. This approach also typically includes a deadline by which prospective buyers must provide their highest and best offer. Making this request indicates to buyers that you’ve received multiple offers, and it generally results in more competitive bids.”
Lean on Your Seattle Agent’s Expertise
These are some effective negotiating strategies, but there are more, and not every strategy will work in every local market. That’s why most sellers need to lean on their local agent’s expertise to negotiate offers to get the best price. And we have the experienced agents who can help you do just that. If you want to successfully negotiate offers, contact us (206) 465-7215.