Negotiation

Introduction

Print Contents Next Page

Most people usually allow the estate agent to negotiate on their behalf. They are professionals who do this for a living and act as a buffer between you and the buyer. They boost their income from the commission that comes from getting as good a sale price as possible and will probably be fairly ruthless in their approach.

Even if the estate agent is conducting the negotiations on your behalf, that doesn't mean you have no role to play. You should be in close communication with them and discuss each move before you make it. Some people prefer to conduct the negotiations themselves, regardless of whether they have an agent available to act on their behalf. For those of you selling privately, you do not have a choice and will have to handle this aspect of the sale yourself.

Play hard but fair. Don't give ground easily and make sure that you get try to get something in return for any concessions you make. The negotiation process need not just be about the vendor giving some ground, some more ground, then more ground and then finally agreeing to sell their home for a fraction of the original asking price. Concessions could include a written undertaking to pay a little extra for personal searches rather than the much slower local authority searches, or even persuading the buyer to take on responsibility for some minor repairs that your have not yet completed.

Most importantly of all, remember that this is a negotiation process. You are not walking into a shop to buy something off the shelf. It is rare for a buyer to offer the asking price even if they are ultimately willing to pay it. Most buyers will expect the buyer to have some flexibility built into it. Vendors and estate agents deliberately mark the property value up since they know that negotiation will take place. They are usually on a commission that is a percentage of the sale value, so the higher the sale price the better for them.

You should be aware that your initial asking price may go some way to determining any opening offer you receive, which in itself can go a long way towards determining the final selling price. It is therefore common practice for the asking price to be set artificially high in order to encourage an opening offer that is higher than it would be with a lower asking price. Usually, both sides are aware that negotiation is something of a game of cat and mouse, offer and counter offer.

What you must remember is that as the seller, you hold the aces. No one can force you to accept an offer if you don't want to and the more competition there is for your home, the stronger your hand becomes.

Next Page Contents