Why isn’t your home selling? You had it on the market all summer long. According to Money magazine, there are two reasons:
- Many sellers don’t want to price their house at what it’s worth NOW. They can’t cope with the reality that their home may not be worth what they paid for it.
- Buyers are under-valuing homes and giving lowball offers – hoping the seller will get desperate and accept.
So how do you get around that standoff? Here are the dos and don’ts for closing a deal. We’ll start with the buyers:
- Don’t say, “I’ll pay 85% of what you’re asking and not a penny more!” Instead, look for homes that are reasonably priced and within your budget – instead of finding a house out of your range and hoping the seller will come down. Right now, coming in about 10% below the asking price is where negotiations should start. On average, buyers are paying less than 3% below the asking price. That’s the reality.
- Don’t say, “This is my dream house!” Don’t start imagining the parties you’ll throw or the Christmases around the fireplace. Your ability to walk away from a negotiation is your most powerful bargaining chip. There are plenty of homes on the market – don’t be afraid to walk away.
Now, the dos and don’ts for the seller:
- Don’t say, “You’re low-balling me! Forget it!” Instead, when someone gives you a lowball offer, thank them for their interest and ask them to come back with an earnest offer. When sellers get mad, they blow the negotiation entirely. These days, a lot of buyers are just testing you to see how big of a discount they can get. Check the houses that have sold in your area to make sure your price is fair.
- Don’t leave repairs for the buyer to find. For a few hundred bucks, hire an inspector to evaluate your house before you put it on the market. Fix any problems they find. Then, the buyer has less to bargain with and you’ll get closer to your asking price.